Yesterday Inside Timeshare published information on a new “SCAM” being perpetrated by persons unknown using the cover of the Banco de España, Spain’s national bank. Today we continue with the story and as you will see from the Email reproduced below there are many errors in the “facts” they give along with warnings of other “third party” companies claiming to be acting on behalf of the courts or the courts themselves. Now that is a case of the “pot calling the kettle black”.
As we explained yesterday the email supposedly coming from the Banco de España is being sent from a Gmail account, [email protected] which a national bank would not be using, the Email address is actually @bde.es.
The other telling point is the telephone number at the foot of the Email, 0034602576406, which is a Spanish mobile number!
So why would a national bank such as Banco de España be using a Gmail account and a mobile number?
At the end of the Email it is “signed” “with kind regards administration”. Surely it would have had the name of the person who is working on this “case” as a point of contact.
These are the first signs that this is in no doubt a “SCAM” on an epic scale.
The next point are the companies which they claim the courts have seized money from, this is a rather extensive list:
European Finance Solutions, EFS, Excalibur, Level 9 Resolutions SL, Sun Travel International, Half Moon Holdings, Principle Travel, Simple Timeshare Sales, Freewall Solutions, End Vacation, Iberian Dream Homes, Holiday Rentals Direct, Breakaway Vacation, CMC Accounts, Selling Time, Timeshare Resale, Emerald Rock Holdings, Blue Chip, Blue Diamond, Fast Line, etc”.
Notice the “etc” at the end, again this leads us to believe that they have no idea which company the “clients” paid or even how they paid.
In respect of the companies mentioned above, these go back many years and most were based around Velez Malaga and Torre del Mar, with most being closed down several years ago. Many of these companies were also the subject of a large National Police operation codenamed Manta (blanket) around 2017. Inside Timeshare reported this at the time and also included the following links:
So the conclusion is that the senders of the Email are just clutching at straws and hope that the “client” did in fact pay one or more of these companies, which would then “corroborate” what they are claiming.
The other point which we need to look at is how have they got the contact details of these “clients”?
We suspect that as most of these companies were run by the same people, it would be safe to assume that it is either the original “scammers” or old staff members using the client data of their past victims.
The Email then goes on to state that the “director” of the “aforementioned” company has been found guilty of fraud and money laundering. Now we ask which “aforementioned” company as they have previously listed so many. It is also a fact that each company had a different director, the actual persons behind them did not register themselves as “directors”, they got “stooges” to front the companies.
The next paragraph also goes on to state that the Judge ruled that all remaining funds in the accounts be divided equally amongst the claimants. We ask what money? As the reports in the press show, the police seized huge amounts of cash, cars including a Ferrari, a yacht and other luxury items. In other words, as soon as the “scammed” money hit the accounts it was withdrawn and dispersed. After all according to the reports at the time the accounts themselves had very little in them.
As we said in our opening paragraph they are also giving a warning about callers claiming to be from the courts or representing the courts, well, this is a good ploy to try and give legitimacy to the Email from the “FAKE” Banco de España. But they then go on to warn “clients” about giving their credit or debit card details to any third party stating, “DO NOT GIVE THAT INFORMATION TO THEM”, does this include them as well?
In the same paragraph, they also state “Since 2011 it has been illegal for anyone to request that information and take payment when the matter has anything to do with timeshare”. This is absolutely untrue, in fact paying by credit card is probably the safest way of making a payment, at least if anything goes wrong you will be covered by Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974. If you paid by any other method then that money is as good as lost.
We now come to one of the most hilarious parts of the Email is the rather lengthy paragraph about Mindtimeshare and Alberto Garcia. According to this “FAKE” Banco de España Email, Alberto Garcia owned Mindtimeshare and was also “one of the prosecuted directors, owning many fraudulent companies, and for years writing online about other fraudulent and legal companies but not making people aware of the companies owned by him”.
They also claim that Alberto Garcia owned many companies that defrauded “thousands” from people but has now been prosecuted and as a result, a woman is now writing for Mindtimeshare as Alberto Garcia.
As many of our regular readers will remember, Inside Timeshare was not a great fan of Alberto Garcia, but even Inside Timeshare cannot believe their statement, We have never even heard of him being prosecuted for any of these allegations. It must also be mentioned that Mindtimeshare and Alberto Garcia were funded by the timeshare industry.
The paragraph also claims that the Banco de España has started taking legal action against them for the “false accusations” made by Mindtimeshare and Alberto Garcia. What a joke.
Now we get down to the nitty gritty of the Email, payment of “TAX”, according to them any amount of “compensation” over 10,000€ is subject to the payment of this “TEMPORARY TAX” payment. The rate of this “TAX” is 4% or 2% if pensioners or over 65.
As the “claimants” are British citizens the “TAX” will be refunded within 14 days!
So why the need to pay this “TAX” if it will be refunded in such a short time, well we can guess, the chances are once it is paid there will suddenly be “other legal charges” which need to be paid, or they will have disappeared with the money.
They then offer two forms of payment of the “COMPENSATION” direct from the court, either a bank transfer to your own account, which you will then need to give your account details. Hang on, didn’t they warn about giving details over?
The other method to receive the “COMPENSATION” is by cheque, which they say will take around 14 days to arrive. The chances are as we have seen with similar scams the cheque will be a forgery.
The Email then ends with the “mobile” telephone number which is for the “English Department” and an offer via Email of information on “how to protect yourself from fraud”. Well, Inside Timeshare can tell you how to do that and that is not to believe these crooks!
Below is the Email in full.
If you have had a call or received an Email from “Banco de España” with a Gmail address please use our contact page with all the information you have, it is through you the readers that we are then able to give these warnings.
From: Banco de España <[email protected]>
To: Clients email address
Sent: Date & time email sent
Subject: BANCO DE ESPAÑA (Client Ref No)
Dear Mr&Mrs XXXXXX
We wish to inform you that we have tried contacting you via telephone call as we have received a notification from the court in Malaga.
Translation of notification:
‘The bank of Spain wish to inform you that we have received a document from the court of Malaga, Juzgados de Málaga, Calle Fiscal Luis Portero García, 0, 29010 Málaga, Spain, regarding a compensation claim from the director of the company “European Finance Solutions, EFS, Excalibur, Level 9 Resolutions SL, Sun Travel International, Half Moon Holdings, Principle Travel, Simple Timeshare Sales, Freewall Solutions, End Vacation, Iberian Dream Homes, Holiday Rentals Direct, Breakaway Vacation, CMC Accounts, Selling Time, Timeshare Resale, Emerald Rock Holdings, Blue Chip, Blue Diamond, Fast Line, etc”.
In your case it showed that you had paid money in to account/s of the company/s in mention. May we inform you that your information was found among their bank statements as having paid them money. This may have been done by credit card, debit card, Western Union, money gram, bankers draft, Ukash vouchers, etc.
May we also remind you that they traded under many company names, if you have paid any other company it is most then likely linked to these companies.
These companies claimed to be investment companies, mediation companies, resale companies, share holding companies, lawyers, etc.
The document states that the director of aforementioned company has been found guilty of fraud and money laundering in Europe.
The Judge at the hearing ruled that all remaining funds in accounts linked to the aforementioned company is to be divided equally amongst claimants, as there was insufficient evidence of how much each client of theirs had paid, as they traded under many different company names, they used many different payment methods and many different bank accounts.
May we inform you that we have heard from other victims of fraud that they have been contacted by third parties in other countries, claiming to be courts, or companies that can claim money back, this information is wrong, please may we advise that you be very careful with whom you deal with and if any company or any third party asks for your credit or debit card details, DO NOT GIVE THAT INFORMATION TO THEM. Since 2011 it has been illegal for anyone to request that information and take payment when the matter has anything to do with timeshare.
Please note that there is a post on mindtimeshare stating this information is false, may we inform you that mindtimeshare is owned by a man called Alberto Garcia, this person was one of the prosecuted directors, owning many fraudulent companies, and for years writing online about other fraudulent and legal companies but not making people aware of the companies owned by him. He owned many of the fraudulent companies in Spain claiming to be notaries and Lawyers, defrauding people out of thousands of pounds. Now there is a woman writing on his behalf as Alberto Garcia has been prosecuted. May we inform you that if you are not to claim the money owed to you, the company that took the money from you has a right to claim back the money themselves, as if it is not claimed, in the eyes of the law you have not been defrauded, this may be another reason why this has been written online. May we inform you that we are starting by taking legal action against them for false accusations against the Banco de España
In the case of MR&MRS XXXXXXXX contact number 0044XXXXXXXX total of £27,391 is due to be remitted.
Issues surrounding money laundering problems in Spain mean that amounts over €10,000 are to be checked for money laundering and fraud purposes.
Having run all checks against your payment it has been approved as it has been classed as a ‘compensation claim’ and will be sent directly to you from the courts.
Spanish tax laws dictate that amounts greater than €10.000 relating to compensation payments are subject to a temporary tax payment which must be paid in advance of authorisation being granted to release your funds.
The temporary tax payment is 4%.
If you are a pensioner or over the age of 65 the temporary tax is lowered to 2%.
As a British resident you are not liable for Spanish tax and therefore this is classed as a temporary payment which will be refunded to you within 14 working days of receipt.
The amount payable is £1,095.64.
The amount payable if you are a pensioner is of £547.82.
Upon receipt of funds we will apply for the necessary authorisation on your behalf, this is a formality after-which you have two options to receive your payment, either bank transfer, this takes 24/48 hours to clear in your account or you may be paid via cheque, we do ask for you to allow for a week for the cheque to arrive as it will be sent from Spain.
Please note that should you decide to proceed and claim your compensation you will no longer be able to take any further legal action against the aforementioned director of the aforementioned companies.
Should you require any further clarification you may reply to this email with any questions you have, if proceeding you will need to inform us in advance which method of payment you prefer.
You may contact your case handler on the following number 0034 602 576 406 please ask to speak to the English department.
If you wish to receive via e-mail information on how to protect yourself against fraud please notify us.
Please find the website of the bank of Spain below, you may also find this by typing Banco de España or Bank of Spain in google.
With kind regards.
Bank of Spain, Banco de España.
Calle de Alcalá, 48, Madrid, Spain, 28014.