Timeshare is not on its own when it comes to scams, ranging from the “Amazon & PayPal” scam to the fake “Fraud Department” of your bank, they all have one thing in common, they want your money.
They also have other similarities, they have your contact details, your landline, your mobile phone, your email along with other information such as what timeshare you may have owned, what bank you are with even details of your Amazon or PayPal accounts. Information which has more than likely been illegally obtained.
But to carry out their FRAUD, let’s use the correct word, they need to convince you they are who they say they are, and that involves getting more information from you. Even if they don’t succeed in getting you the first time, they now have more information for the next attempt.
During this first exchange, they are also able to tailor their “pitch” to suit you, all this is based on the questions they ask and your response. For example, the call is about making a claim against your timeshare, but if you tell them you are out and have been for 3 years, they will plant the seed of doubt that you are not.
This is when they will change their pitch to suit your circumstances, as one CLC member has just found out. They cancelled their contract with CLC several years ago through CLC directly, according to the cold caller this was never done, and membership was only “suspended”. Now the frightener is put in place, they are now liable for all maintenance arrears and the resort will pass the debt to a “debt collecting agency”.
Now this caller has failed to “suck” you in, you didn’t fall for it, but you have probably given them more information for their records, this in itself is a valuable commodity. That call failed to make a “sale”, but your data is still saleable, it now contains more information the scammers didn’t have before.
The new purchaser of that data may not even be connected to timeshare, but it may contain information for their particular scam, enter the “fake fraud department” scam.
There are “enterprising” people out there who all they do, is sift through data, package it, and sell it, data with banking details is more than likely to be sold to one of the thriving “Call Centres” in India where most of the “Fake Fraud Department” scams originate, and so it goes on.
Social Media, is another valuable source of information, without even realising it most of us have placed some “sensitive” information in comments or posts. AIT has covered this in the past, how members of Fb groups have been approached with offers of services by dubious characters, all gleaned from comments or posts.
One thing is certain, the original data is more than likely stolen, it is illegally obtained, but this can be cleaned to comply with GDPR and is easily exploited.
During any cold call, whether you go ahead or not with the offered service, the moment you confirm your email and contact details without realising it you are giving them authority to pass your information “legally” to third parties. The data has now been cleaned.
This is also where the links to websites come in, many are just “lead generators”, you may have found it on a Google search or been given the link during a cold call. It will have basic information usually corroborating what you have been told in any call, it will also ask you to complete the form to be sent further information. That is where you have now given permission for your information to be passed to all and sundry.
Fraud is a growing “industry”, with the technology we have now more and more people are susceptible to fraud, and there really is very little protection from the authorities. No matter what country you live in, the police only have the resources to investigate multi-million $ frauds, the big cases we see in the news, the little fellas, you, and me, what we lose in comparison as individuals is not even a peanut.
The only protection you have is your own vigilance, take control of your information, don’t give it out to every Tom, Dick & Harry that calls or emails, and be wary of what you post on your social media which may be useful to trawling scammers.
You the consumer are the
Link to Scam Interceptors, BBC program using “ethical hackers” to highlight fraud.
We hope you all had a great weekend, Baby Dog had a full day of playing on Sunday and thankfully was “crashed out”, so I could get on with writing.