Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, as our regular readers know, Inside Timeshare is always quick to report the latest names to emerge with regards to timeshare claims and exit. Today we highlight yet another “fake” law firm to come to our attention, this time it is not directly from a reader but the Timeshare Consumer Association. They contacted Inside Timeshare to find out if we had ever heard of this “law firm” and what we thought of the letter they had received from a concerned consumer.
As some of our readers are now aware, Inside Timeshare has been collaborating with the TCA by sharing information on the proliferation of “fake” law firms and claims companies. The latest is called Sanchez Abogados Services, claiming to be “Legal Services & Re-claim Specialists”.
So far, Inside Timeshare or the TCA have not found any “law” firm with this name, there are two which we have found with similar names based in Barcelona and Murcia. Both are genuine law firms and have nothing to do with any timeshare cases.
The letter received by the consumer gives no company details, address, telephone number or website, but does have an email address:
Once again it is a free Gmail account which anybody can set up, not what you would expect from any genuine law firm.
The letter itself is what can only be described as familiar and not very business-like, it does not even begin with Dear Mr or Mrs, but “Good Morning, Thanks again for getting in touch”. It then begins:
“Ok, I’m going to explain how the process works and let you know the costs/fees involved…What you read here is 100% correct and not a penny more than the amount quoted.”
It then goes on to say:
“Firstly, I would like to mention that we do not expect any of our processing fee/payment to be paid upfront or during the process.”
So far so good, but then they require the client to make a refundable “surety deposit” amounting to £185 to begin the process which is “refundable” in full after “7 days” on completion.
The letter goes on to explain the reason for this “surety deposit”, it seems that “people” have not been paying them once the claim is processed on a “no win no fee” basis:
“We have had problems with a few people over this..Basically the management are hoping the surety payment may deter this sort of thing from happening again and encourage people to stay around for the duration of their claim.”
Again not very business-like, they want the client to trust them but they don’t trust the client!
The basis of the claim is a purchase with Eze Group with a Timeshare being taken from them so they are then maintenance-free. We have seen this with many of these discount holiday clubs, credit-based clubs such as Monster Credits etc. In other words, the only way you the consumer can get out of your timeshare is to purchase our product and we will take over your timeshare.
It appears that these people also know the exact date the purchase with Eze Group was made as they actually place that in the letter along with the exact amount paid. Again, something does not seem right here, how have they managed to get that information?
The total amount for the claim is £21,215, plus according to Sanchez Abogados they are also “entitled to 10% of this amount as a form of compensation”. This amounts to £23,336. Apparently, this is due to the amount of time the client has waited. Waited for what we ask as the client did not instigate any legal action or claim?
The letter then goes on about “fees/your payment to us”, where they “actually have 3 payment options”. Apparently 2 of these involve upfront payments, “so we will concentrate on option 3 where no upfront payment is needed”.
The processing fee will be £750, but the £185 initial surety payment will be deducted from this leaving £565 which will be invoiced once the “claim funds have cleared in your bank”.
They certainly work very fast as they say the claim will be completed within 10 days, apparently, this is down to the “amount of time the court allows us to process a claim”. It then goes to say “as you know we are at the end of the Eze Group claims so this is more likely to be 6 or 7 days”.
Payment made by the client at the start or during the process will be payable to a “third party, UK Escrow, holding account”. Apparently this account has been verified by the “High Court”.
In order to give the “client” some peace of mind, the funds are not accessible by them and are held for a maximum of 10 days, if they (Sanchez) do not complete within the 10 days the funds will be returned to the client. What funds are we talking about, the claim amount or what?
It also goes on to say:
“All monies that you will be receiving are being settled to you by the successful outcome of recent court proceedings against Regency Shores (Eze Group) Holdings SL, where upon you were listed as one of their members.”
“All monies and procedure are contractually and fiscally guaranteed by our long standing relationship with the High Court In Madrid and the Central Bank of Spain.”
So they have a long-standing relationship with the High Court in Madrid and the Central Bank of Spain. Wonderful credentials if they were true.
In the closing paragraphs they also state that they are now “out of time” for claims against Eze Group, but wait a minute, “the court does normally allow us a couple of days grace”. Isn’t that lovely of the court!
In the same paragraph, they also advise the client to “get your foot in the door”!
The letter ends:
“If you need any assistance in the future please do contact us.
Any questions, please ask..sorry if I’ve made it sound complicated..sometimes think I go into to much detail 😚”
“We look forward to your reply,”
“Have a lovely day,”
“Ms Maria Santos (Admin)”
The footer of the page has these wonderful words to end with:
DON’T BE ANOTHER VICTIM, ACT NOW AND CLAIM BACK WHAT IS RIGHTFULLY YOURS!
Please note any spelling mistakes etc are direct from the letter.
We just love the part where Maria Santos apologises for making it sound complicated and that she thinks she goes into too much detail. Well we know the reason for that, make it complicated so it confuses the clients, most of which are going to be elderly pensioners!
So to recap, a law firm that cannot be traced, a free Gmail account, no company address, company registration number, lawyers bar association numbers or names and no website.
All the details you would expect from a legitimate and genuine law firm, our conclusion, yet another scam with the lure of thousands coming your way.
Once again this reinforces what Inside Timeshare has been saying for years, do not believe what you are told in cold calls, unsolicited emails or normal post. Check and check again, if you don’t know where to start or how to make these checks, then contact Inside Timeshare using our contact page and we will help you get started.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK, YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE!