Welcome to the start of another week with AIT, the weekend has flown by although we did manage to have a scout around the various websites and forums in the world of timeshare. One theme which always rears its ugly head is the scams, it is amazing what stories they come up with. More on this shortly, on Friday we published Westgate Owners Report Agents who Promote Renting.
In this article, we highlighted nine consumers affected by these deceptive practices, this week we will continue with a further two consumers who failed in their attempts to “Rent Timeshare Weeks”. This practice is not just confined to Westgate, others have reported the same thing over the years, the most notable has to be from Europe.
The notorious Resort Properties/Silverpoint scheme of “Investment Weeks”, with income for rentals and then a profit for the subsequent sale of the “Investment”. All paid for through finance agreements brokered by the very same salespeople who sold the fraud.
This brings us to yet another article on the Financial Ombudsman Service and the story of our reader’s complaint to Barclays Partner Finance and the FOS about these very loan agreements. You will not believe the latest from the FOS “Investigator”, junior I might add, his latest email to our reader shows either a total lack of understanding of the subject or just plain stupidity and the inability to do his job. So keep an eye open for this one.
Now back to our travels around the forums.
We first began with the RDO website, which does tend to be very quiet on the news front. It would appear that from their last post on 26 October 2021 until 2 February 2022, there was nothing in the news. AIT does find this very strange considering what AIT and the TCA have been publishing.
Then on 2 February, they published a very short notice about the Crown Prosecution Service authorising criminal charges against 18 people involved with the alleged Monster Group fraud. Well, to be honest, we are not surprised about this notice, after all, Monster Group were not RDO members.
So our question to the RDO is very simple: you publish notices about Monster Group and the pending trial, but we hear nothing from you on the very important matter of your own members violating Spanish Law, WHY?
I think AIT and our readers all know the answer to that question.
The various forums which we visit do come up with some very humorous but also disturbing information, one group member posted the nature of a cold call, (company name supplied). According to the caller, an Irish accent going by the name of “Sharon”, if it wasn’t for the accent I’d say very “Essex”, claims that Club la Costa has just bought Golden Sands Resort in Malta.
As we all know this resort is owned by Corinthia Group, nothing to do with Azure who only leased out the timeshare units, with the club now being run by another company. We have also found nothing anywhere to indicate that Club la Costa has purchased Golden Sands, nothing in the timeshare world and absolutely nothing in any of the financial columns.
So once again this very much shows how careful you need to be when receiving these calls, not all are genuine and the truth can be stretched to make it plausible.
At another forum, this time based in the US and unlike our previous group is not “closed”, there is a huge increase of “individuals” posing as consumers posting comments with links to obvious scam companies. The most notable of these are the “FAKE” Mexican law firms, offering “exits” from “fraudulently” sold Mexican timeshares.
These are the same people who are contacting owners with the news of “fake” lawsuits which have been won in their favour, all they have to do is pay the “tax” and the money will be transferred. We all know the outcome of these scams, they have been running in Europe for years.
As we have already said, many of these posts make out they are “consumers” and it was this company that helped them in their “hour of need”. So care needs to be taken when reading the posts.
When contacted by “cold call” or wondering about a post or comment you have found, Due Diligence is the key.
That is all for today, we hope you had a great weekend, Baby Dog did, he had a day out with his friend, the picture says it all.