Welcome to the end of another week in the world of timeshare, it certainly has been a rather busy week with yet another new “fake” law firm rearing its ugly head. It is the latest incarnation of that long-standing fraud of “fake” law firms we have dubbed the Litigious Abogados Family, this time they really have surpassed themselves in the photographs they have used. According to the Las Alas Abogados website their founder Alberto Canbamo Farola is in fact none other than the serving President of Mexico Andrés Manuel López Obrador. They have also used the photograph of Carlos Torres Vila, who is the President of the BBVA Banking Group, as one of their lawyers Antonio Lamamel Cunio. They also used a photograph taken in Mexico of Vila at a meeting with the Mexican President. The Mexican Authorities and the BBVA have already been informed. Yesterday we published the story of the Radio 4 You and Yours broadcast on maintenance fees during the current pandemic. We end this week with the following court news.
The court awarded the German client over 44,000€ plus legal interest. When calculating the award, the Judge also ordered that the client should receive double the amount of the deposit taken during the statutory cooling-off period.
The following day it was another Anfi case at the Court of First Instance of SBT which declared another contract null and void.
This particular case was dealt with at the pre-trial stage as the Judge decided that there was no need to waste time and go to a full trial. This is becoming increasingly more common after all these judges have now been hearing these cases for years and they are tied to the rulings made by the Supreme Court on timeshare law.
In this case, the Norwegian client is to receive 44,688€ plus legal interest, with the court awarding double the deposit paid within the cooling-off period.
No doubt we will see Anfi attempting to delay payments by instigating an appeal to the High Court, we cannot actually fathom out why they would do this as in every case they have appealed, the High Court has confirmed the original sentence returning it to the original court for execution of sentence.
On Wednesday it was the turn of Club la Costa to lose in the Court of First Instance in Fuengirola.
The court awarded the German client 41,448€ plus legal interest and legal fees. The court in calculating the award also followed the Supreme Court rulings which confirmed that the taking of deposits within the cooling-off period was illegal, awarded the client over 20,000€ for the cancellation of their contract plus a further 21,000€ in respect of the illegally taken deposits.
Once again the client was represented by the CLA Lawyer Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez, with the client being assisted by the Claims Consultant Michael Gadman.
On Thursday it was the turn of Palm Oasis, Tasolan SL to payout a client whose contract has been declared null and void with the return of their full purchase price.
In this case, the payment has already been transferred to the client’s own bank account, they have now received their award of 15,834€.
The English client was represented by the Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Jake Kaiser assisting.
Today we also highlight a case from an independent lawyer who specialises in timeshare cases.
The court declared the contract null and void with the client being awarded £28,220 plus legal interest and legal costs.
These cases certainly show that the courts are siding with the consumer and following the law to the letter. To be honest, it is the timeshare companies’ own fault that they are now being subject to increasing litigation over their contract, after all the laws came into force in January 1999. Surely that is time enough to have changed their ways and complied with the law!
That is all for this week, join us again next week with more news and information on the murky world of timeshare.
Today’s short article looks at the BBC Radio 4 program You and Yours which was broadcast yesterday. In this program, they explored the problem of maintenance fees being charged by timeshare resorts even though members are unable to use them due to the pandemic. We have already seen the underhand methods of Anfi as far as this subject is concerned, several months ago Inside Timeshare reported on the letter being sent to Anfi members who have not been able to use their timeshares this year. In effect, they are holding them to ransom, Anfi will only give them an accommodation voucher to save this year’s weeks only and only if they sign the new contract. This contract will replace the illegal ones which Anfi are currently up to their eyes with in court cases, the point is to legalise the contracts to ensure that members do not then have a right to take a case to court.
The TCA explained that it is fundamentally wrong for these timeshare companies to still charge full maintenance fees from members who due to no fault of their own are unable to travel as flights were cancelled and all the resorts had to close down as each country went into lockdown.
The RDO in it’s response to the question is this fair, basically did not answer, well we didn’t actually expect them to come out in favour of the consumer, but they stated that it was “too early” to give any answers.
So why are the timeshare companies still charging the full annual maintenance fees for this year even when they are closed?
That is a question that we leave you the reader to answer, but we know what our answer is, “GREED”!
To hear the full recording of the program please follow the link below.
Here we go again, we knew it wouldn’t be long before the “family” of “FAKE” law firms which we have named as the Litigious Abogados Family came up with another new name, Las Alas Abogados. Once again they have excelled themselves with their choice of photographs of their founder and one of their lawyers, you will be very surprised when we reveal who they really are. It also appears that their “Modus Operandi” is going to be the same as for all the other incarnations, but as usual, Inside Timeshare along with the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) have already got a bead on them.
Was registered only on the 1 September 2020 and is as usual only registered for 1 year, so it will expire on 1 September 2021, not very inspiring, a law firm formed in 1994 yet has only just got themselves a website and only registered for 1 year!
The actual registrant is also again hidden, so there is no way of knowing who is actually behind it. Surely the companies that register these websites also hold some responsibility in allowing them to be registered. The question is and we think we know the answer, is why do they allow these scam operators to register their websites through them? The answer is pure and simple greed.
The website itself is the same as all the other previous websites which we have highlighted over the past few years. The only difference is the photographs of their lawyers and secretaries, along with their names and dates the firm was formed.
We now move on to the lawyers, as we have already stated the founder is named as Alberto Canbamo Farola, the photograph of him shows a rather distinguished gentleman, but he is not genuine. His real name is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, he is, in fact, the current President of Mexico, he assumed office on 1 December 2018, so is well into his term as President.
On the home page Las Alas Abogados also shows a group photograph, this was taken during a meeting of the BBVA Group in Mexico, when it was announced that the BBVA was investing substantial sums in Mexico.
So far we have only managed to identify two of the pictures, the others have eluded us, but that does not mean we will stop trying to identify them and to inform the genuine people that their images are being used for criminal purposes.
As for the scam, well, we know how they operate, it is a long drawn out scam, with rather small amounts being requested at first to get the case registered. Once the “victim” has been snared with this fee, the scam proper begins. There will be demands for “court or hacienda taxes” to be paid, then taxes to release the money and also for the “procurator” to work on your behalf.
Then comes the main part of the scam, you will be shown a copy of the cheque, supposedly issued by the court, next, you will receive an envelope in the post with a letter from the court and the cheque. Unfortunately, the cheque is missing, step in the new company who is investigating the missing cheque. Apparently, it was stolen and cashed by a gang of East Europeans. To add credibility to this story, the “victim” will be informed that around 16 post office workers have been arrested for aiding and abetting the stealing of the cheques.
To get this back, the new company needs a payment of around 10 to 20% of the cheque amount, although you will be promised that this will be refunded.
But the start of the scam is always “your timeshare company is being taken to court and you can be part of the case”. Then the following email arrives to tell you that the case is concluded and the court has awarded you thousands of euros in compensation.
Dear Mr & Mrs XXXXXXXXXXX
We are glad to inform you that we have this morning received, from the Courts, a certified copy of your cheque in the amount of 32,000 Euros. A copy of which has been attached.
The compensation was meant to be remitted by International bank transfer, but due to the numerous cases they had at the Santa Cruz Court, they issued the payment in cheque form. This only means losing a few pounds when you deposit the Euro cheque in a Sterling account, but after all, we are very pleased that this has all come to a successful conclusion.
The Court Judgment for your compensation and the relevant tax documents have also been received on the 21st October and posted to you on Thursday the 22nd of October and we trust those should be with you soon.
Once the tax element has been met, our Lawyers shall finalise the tax logistics in order for the courts to release your compensation cheque and it will be posted to your address and should arrive to you in 5-8 working days, from the day it has been posted.
Assuring you of our best attention at all times, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your involvement thus far and send you our best regards.
Kindly confirm the safe receipt of this Email.
Maria Corrioh Emiboca
This email is confidential and intended for the named recipient only. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately and delete the email. You must not copy, distribute, disclose or take any action in reliance on it. This email message and any attached files have been scanned for the presence of any computer viruses.
Apparently, due to the number of cases, the money could not be transferred using international transfers, so a cheque has been issued, hang on they have always issued cheques from day one of their scams. It is required to get more money, after all a bank transfer is not likely to be stolen by a gang of East Europeans, with postal workers being arrested, where would the credibility be then?
So there we have it, the latest in the incarnations of Litigious Abogados Family, Las Alas Abogados, same Modus Operandi, same websites and the very same illegal use of other people’s images.
If you still believe that what they are telling you is the truth, then, to be honest, you deserve to lose your money, it is not rocket science to tell this is a scam, it is also important to do your homework before engaging with “scam” companies like this. They are professional in what they do, they know how to part you from your hard-earned cash.
Previous articles on the Litigious Abogados Family.