Some time ago Inside Timeshare warned all our readers of the number of fake and bogus law firms and claims companies that have started their cold calling campaign, today we highlight the latest to come to our attention. As we explained before this is the time of year we usually do see an increase in cold callers, this is due to the fact that maintenance bills are now arriving. Obviously, this is the time many owners start to think about getting out of their timeshare, especially this year with many not being able to use their weeks due to the restrictions and they are also thinking of will next year be available? The scam artists know this only too well and are coming up with some very convincing stories, but as you will see from our first readers experience they are not as convincing as they thought.
We begin with the story of one regular reader who over the past few months has been receiving so many calls she has now lost count and is convinced she is the only one being targeted. So far Inside Timeshare has researched four companies that have called in the past 2 months.
- Solutions Group based in Tenerife
- Perez Alonso also Tenerife and part of the fake Litigious Abogados Family
- Blackstone International Ltd another fake law firm using the name of a genuine US company
- Abogados El Palermo another fake law firm of the Litigious Abogados Family
All have called with the same fairly convincing story, either her timeshare company is being taken to court and she can be part of the case, for a fee naturally, her timeshare company has been found guilty and the courts are holding money for her as compensation and the last one which came from Blackstone International Ltd. They stated that her name has been passed to them by the courts as a company of Spanish lawyers had gone into liquidation that she had apparently paid years ago. This Spanish law firm was none-other than our old friends, the fake law firm Ramirez and Ramirez.
The most recent is very similar in the Modus Operandi, the unfortunate thing is that they have consistently avoided giving the name of their law firm, so we have no idea who to look for. What we do have is their telephone numbers, we do not even have an email address.
Our reader gave us two numbers, the first is incomplete, 0203078751 (one digit short) the second number, 02038079030, when searching the various who called websites does come up, on one website it showed that the number of enquiries in November alone rose 100%.
Again the pitch by Colin McGill, was that he was calling on behalf of the Court of Malaga and he had been tasked with contacting victims of past timeshare scams, in this case Incentive Leisure Group, (no longer in existence). According to McGill, the courts are now holding £29,855 seized from ILG. (We just wonder where from?)
But now to release the money there are certain “tax” forms called “Non-Resident Tax” forms, which she should have received from ILG to be filled in and obviously some form of “tax” will need to be paid.
Enter Elizabeth Brown, who called several times and tried to convince our reader that it was a “legal requirement” which ILG failed to comply with and until this is completed she is unable to receive her money. The cost of getting this “NRT” is a staggering £2,500!
We can only assume this is the first of the payments they will require.
We should also point out that the name Elizabeth Brown has come up before in the following article:
We now move forward to the latest call from Elizabeth who incidentally has a Scottish accent, when she rang our reader she was told that it was not convenient to talk at that time. While trying to explain that she was on her way out to an appointment, Elizabeth completely ignored her and started to question her when she is going to make the payment by bank transfer of £2,500.
Elizabeth continued to ignore our reader and just kept talking over her as if she was reading from a script. The gist of her “drivel” was that she needs to do this now or she is going to lose all that money!
Our reader eventually lost her temper and shouted at her, the response is here in our readers own words.
“I had to shout at the top of my voice to finally get through to her that I was still there and trying to communicate to her that I was going out, right now and please could I get a word in and would she shut up and listen for a change. She did – eventually and told me “Don’t you speak to me like that! All our calls are recorded here.” I said “Thank God because if you listen back to the call, all you will hear is yourself talking – and maybe me pleading with you to stop”.”
Even this didn’t seem to put Elizabeth off, she kept insisting to know when our reader would be back home so she could call again and arrange everything.
This type of call is sheer desperation, not only are they trying to convince the “victim” that they stand to lose a substantial sum, but there is also a very strong bullying tactic being deployed.
Thankfully our reader who has been in touch with Inside Timeshare for quite some time has come to realise that these are all fraudulent people and no longer believes what they say.
Our second “scam” law firm or lawyers comes from a German reader, this was sent by email and not a telephone call, unfortunately, there is no company name given only a telephone number and an email address:
Telephone: 0034 604 207 033 which is a Spanish mobile number
Email: [email protected] consultant.com is a free email provider, we have seen this used on countless occasions and it is a favourite of the Litigious Abogados Family of fake law firms operating out of Tenerife. It is also interesting to note that when translated the email address “GerichtsKasse Madrid”, means “Court Cash Register Madrid”.
The letter, shows the Spanish National Coat of Arms (which is very pixelated) and the following address and telephone number:
AUDENCIA NACIONAL JUZGADO DE INSTRUCCION NR. 3
This address is not genuine, it does not show on Google maps, there is however a Calle Antonio Romero, so just on the address, it is shown to be fake.
Now for a document that is supposedly from the Spanish Courts, the spelling is not very good,
AUDENCIA should be spelt Audiencia, INSTRUCCION should be Instrucción, with an accent above the O. If this isn’t a sign that it is a fake I don’t know what is!
The telephone number given is: Central: 902 989 898
This number is a premium rate number, so anyone calling is going to be charged at a very high rate, so even if you don’t sign up with them it has cost you money to call the “court” to verify if it is genuine. Quite a twist for these scammers!
Two names are also given in the letter:
The pitch is the same as we have seen with all these “fake” law firms and court cases, according to Dr Weber, Madrid’s Public Prosecutor’s Office has forwarded them our reader’s file and they are “currently examining it”.
Once again it is regarding the “reimbursement of expenses and damages in connection with a timeshare company in Spain”. In this case, it just happens to be Marriott. They have now been commissioned by the Madrid District Court to “handle the reimbursement, settlement and the entire legal process against the Time-Share company because of the fraud that has occurred”.
This is really fantastic news, the only thing is, there is no company name and the letter is supposedly on “court” headed paper, so does that mean they are “part of the courts”? If so, how come they have been “commissioned”, does that mean they have been contracted? Why would a court “commission or contract” their own employees?
The last paragraph is the one that has really got to be the real “convincing” part of the letter:
“In your case, we work free of charge, as we act on behalf of the state. This means that you will not receive any invoices, neither from us nor from the court administration. According to Spanish and European law, the court costs go in favor of the accused. We endeavor to deal with this matter as quickly as possible in your interest.”
This is brilliant, who would not sign up for this?
Now the question is where is the scam going to come in to get hold of your money?
Well, I think our regular readers will have the answer to that question, There will be “tax” to pay to release the money, this will no doubt be supported by “tax forms”, “fake court documents” and we suspect more “tax” demands or even pay to get an NIE Number to have the tax “refunded”.
These are just two more scams that you should be aware of, the story seems to be taking a very familiar turn with all these “fake” companies, they are all appointed by the courts, some kind of tax needs to be paid and the money is already being held by the courts on your behalf.
The high figures these “fraudsters” are using are certainly designed to entice people to believe the story, after all, they are about average for timeshare purchases and what some have paid out in the past to other scammers. It is also a fact that the vast majority of the “victims” are going to be elderly and vulnerable, they have also more than likely lost a lot of money in the past and the promise of a large amount of money at this time will be very tempting.
Once again these “readers” stories are all the proof you need that not every call, letter or email you receive with a similar story cannot be believed. These “crooks” have invested a lot of time and probably money in setting up these operations, the more convincing they can be the more money they are going to steal from you.
If you have received a call, letter or email with a pitch the same as those we highlight, take down as much information as you can, if it is a telephone call and you have a recording facility, use it. Use our contact page and let us know, your information could save another vulnerable person from losing thousands.
Not sure if the company or law firm that has contacted you is genuine, again use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.
REMEMBER, THE ONLY WAY TO SAVE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY IS TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK!