It seems not a day goes by without yet another scam or scam company “rearing its ugly head”, not by the normal cold call but by unsolicited email, a trend which is increasing. There is probably a very good reason for this, most people are ignoring the calls by phone, quite often polity telling the caller where to get off, whereas emails are there, ready and waiting for you to open it.
Having opened it you will tend to read it, not thoroughly, just enough to decide either to bin it or read it later, but something caught your eye most possibly because it sounds official. It may have official-looking logos and quite often begin, “We have been appointed by (whichever legal authority)”, and it is often regarding a court case against someone who ripped you off.
In the past, we have seen emails sent after the initial cold call confirming what the “client” was told, along with any documents which will convince them of the “firm’s” authenticity. Many of the documents were genuine but doctored court originals and some were very good forgeries, but they all had their flaws. Today we highlight two, one in the UK and the other in the US.
Recently from one of our UK readers we received an inquiry about one such firm sending out emails, our research into the company revealed exactly the same as our friends at the TCA, who published Spencer Beaumont – Who are they?
They found absolutely nothing; the firm is a ghost emanating from the underworld.
So, what is Spencer Beaumont offering in this email which they have sent without your express permission, by the way, data protection also covers unsolicited emails.
Well, we can tell you it is nothing new, just the old garbage of how they are taking on cases for claims against a whole host of companies. Some of these are already the subject of legal action, some are out-and-out scams and a couple of genuine law firms are thrown in.
What is different from this email is they are not specific, they don’t say you “do have” a claim, but “possibly” have one. The telling point is the list and the last paragraph where they say, “You would have paid them for legal services”. From this, we can deduce that they don’t know which one you signed up with, if you did, or what for.
It is a “phishing” expedition, probably a call centre setup with the express purpose of converting email leads to “sellable” potential client leads, commonly known as lead generation.
Whatever the reason it is most definitely a scam and a front for even more scammers.
Our next email is one which was received by a Diamond member, and it appears to originate from Mexico. As we are well aware Mexico has become a haven for so many timeshare scams. Many of the scams we have seen revolve around legal proceedings supposedly originating with the Mexican authorities, quite often around anti-fraud and money laundering cases. To those in Europe, these are very much like the “fake” law firms originating from Tenerife, with official-looking court documents, stamps and case numbers.
But one thing did stand out from this one, although it looks official and is duly stamped with a court symbol, it is however in English. I don’t know about you the reader, but I would have thought that any official document issued by a court or any such authority, would be in the official language of that country, in this case Mexican Spanish, (yes, there is a difference).
In Spain, all documents are issued in Spanish, and the court does not translate them, that is down to your lawyer to do, those translations will also not bear the official court stamp.
We cannot see any reason why Mexico would be any different.
That is your first alarm bell for this email, the second is the fact that it was the member’s son who received the email, and he does not even appear on any of the documentation.
However, he did stay at the resort in Mexico with his family, but that still does not explain how they got his email.
For example, even if he did give his email to the resort reception on arrival or it was given during booking, this clearly indicates a breach of data. It is clear the scammers are aware of his stay and have targeted him accordingly with the intention of emptying his pockets.
The document attached with the email as we said written in English and made to look genuine, it is however a very poor translation from Spanish. The Header is “United States of Mexico” which is how Google translates Estados Unidos Mexicanos, in translations done by humans, it would be the United Mexican States, so most definitely not from the court.
Then we have the section showing the “plaintiff” and “defendants”, where are they, and who are they?
It only lists “Unregistered Illegal Fraud, Operation Centers, Financial Assets Confiscated from Organised Crime”. Still none the wiser.
On the person named as the attorney, we have found one Abigail Gonzalez Garcia listed as Abogado, and she appears to have a highly successful career in the private sector. So, a leaf is taken out of the Tenerife notebook, and swipe a genuine lawyer’s identity. (Funny, isn’t that what the email is about?)
The rest of the text is just laughable, it reminds me of the diatribe given by government ministers on a popular British sitcom, it says a lot but says nothing.
Whether it is on a phone, in an email or in text, if it is unsolicited, it is a cold call with your data which they probably got from dubious sources. Your data is valuable, it is a commodity which for a relatively small outlay, nets the scammer’s huge rewards, safety from fraud begins with you:
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Our Friday article this week is “Bluegreen’s Rental “Declaration” – DO NOT SIGN IT”, a title which speaks for itself, join us tomorrow and find out why?