Action Fraud has just published their latest numbers on reports received from defrauded timeshare owners between January and July this year.
In the same period, victims reported losing £7,893,028 – an average of £14,000 per victim.
How is this happening?
Reports show that fraudsters are taking advantage of previous fraudulent or mis-sold timeshare schemes and are advising victims that they are owed compensation. Victims are told that they need to pay a fee to obtain this money.
Victims who have invested in timeshares abroad are being contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from reputable authorities. Victims are being offered the opportunity, either by phone call or letter, to reclaim money back from their timeshare or to exit early for a fee. Fraudsters are then advising victims that the amount ‘owed’ can be released.
The fraudsters are aware of the victim’s personal details from their previous investment, giving them false credibility. The requested fees range from £2,500 to £9,000 and additional fees have also been requested to cover maintenance or legal cover.
The victims, who are from across the UK, are aged between 50 and 81 years old.
This has been an on-going issue, with 1,155 Action Fraud timeshare recovery reports recorded from January to July 2018, with an average loss of £14,000 per victim.
Protect yourself from timeshare recovery fraud
- Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you, such as the website, address and phone number, are correct as the fraudsters may be posing as a legitimate organisation.
- Be aware of recovery fraud if you’ve fallen victim to fraud in the past. Challenge or ignore any calls, letters or emails from people you don’t know or companies you’ve never contacted yourself.
- Ask how they found out that you had been a victim. Any report of fraud is protected by law and can’t be shared with anyone else outside of law enforcement agencies.
- Challenge any calls, letters or emails from people you don’t know or companies you’ve never contacted and if you’re asked to pay, or give your bank account details, end all contact.
- If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Please always report to Action Fraud if you have been defrauded or if there has been an attempt of fraud!