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TCA

Latest Cold Callers Update

This week Inside Timeshare has published a warning on two cold calling companies, Independent Timeshare Assistance and Timeshare Support Centre, today we add another cold caller named Marketing Solutions Group. There now appears to be a link between these companies and who they are “marketing” for. We also have a look at some information supplied by our colleagues at the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association).

Marketing Solutions Group, well, there is not a lot of information on them apart from the telephone number 01513 080341 which is a Liverpool STD code. But as we have said before this means nothing as these numbers are readily available via third party suppliers and are known as VOIP numbers. More on this in a moment.

Marketing Solutions Group is yet another name that when doing a search for companies, this name comes up many times, but nothing to do with timeshare. So who are they?

No one seems to know the answer to that question but what we do know from information supplied by our readers is they appear to be calling on behalf of Aegis Direct SL based in Tenerife. They are also known to be working with several other companies, by contracting their clients “exits” out to them and not doing it themselves.

It also appears from further information received, that the two companies Independent Timeshare Assistance and Timeshare Support Centre are also calling on behalf of Aegis Direct and their associates. So we have a rather tangled web building up here.

One other thing they all have in common is their telephone numbers, all show UK locations, but we do know that many of the callers are stating they are based in Tenerife. This is because they are using what is known as VOIP, which is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. In other words an internet telephone system.

There are many companies that provide these numbers which can then be used from anywhere in the world. Two we believe have supplied these “companies” with numbers, Simwood which is based in the UK and has the website:

https://simwood.com/uk

The other is Numbergroup Network Ltd, which on researching has some very interesting information attached to them. It seems that a former “director” Jody Rhodes of Dublin, was convicted of a telephone scam back in 2018. For the full story see the link below.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/how-phone-gang-made-fortune-12150847

There is nothing wrong with using these numbers, they are very convenient with today’s technology, the problem comes with the more unscrupulous operations. Those who wish to deceive “potential victims” into believing that they are based in the UK and not calling from call centres in the scammer’s hotspots such as Tenerife.

Moving on to some information supplied by our friends at the TCA who have been looking very closely at the Timeshare Support Centre website, they have found some rather “erroneous facts”.

“Brexit has now impacted the time you have to legally terminate your contract please contact us urgently if you have any timeshare contract termination needs”

This is a complete lie, Brexit as we have stated previously has had no impact whatsoever on timeshare termination in Europe or anywhere else for that matter.

They also found a reference to Club la Costa and the liquidations of their sales companies, which have already been shown to be false information:

“We must also bring to your attention some more recent concerning news of several large Timeshare companies that have now gone into administration 3rd January 2021 the Euro Weekly news confirmed that Club La Costa in Tenerife has filed for voluntary bankruptcy please do urgently contact us if you have purchased any products from Club La Costa (UK).”

As we already know Club la Costa has not filed for voluntary bankruptcy in Tenerife, the Spanish arms have all filed for bankruptcy in Malaga. Club la Costa is liquidating four sales companies within the group, they have already ceased trading. This only means that the sale of timeshare has ceased, there will be no new sales of timeshare. The timeshare resorts side of the company is not affected, ownership has not changed at all and all rights of use are unaffected.

The Euro Weekly article specifically states “Mijas Costa” as the Club la Costa office that has filed for voluntary bankruptcy, not Tenerife. This further confirms our belief that this outfit is operating from Tenerife, no wonder they couldn’t quote a UK office address with ease.

Then we have some information which is really no use to European timeshare members:

“Forbes.com have only recently written an article covering How do I get rid of my Timeshare in a pandemic. This article stresses the need to instruct a solicitor to legally terminate a Timeshare contract.”

This advice relates to American ownership with appropriate comment from the American Resort Development Association. If, as the comment states, there is a need to contact a solicitor, given that Timeshare Support Centre are not even close to being solicitors, why would you deal with them?

Then to cap this off they state:

“We will make sure that the advice you receive is accurate and adheres to new legislation and law changes.”

There is no new legislation. The current EU Directive was presented in 2008. Spanish law 42/98 was enacted on 5th Jan 1999, with an update to this law which is known as Ley 4/12 we believe neither of these laws constitutes “new”.

So once again, we see statements published on a “company” website giving out false and inaccurate information. Not only are they attempting to confuse you the timeshare owners about their company, but also using some very dubious tactics such as scaremongering to convince you to use their services.

Inside Timeshare would like to thank the TCA for providing their findings above, it saved us a lot of time.

Once again, these points are published to show you the reader how careful you have to be when dealing with cold calls or any company you find on the internet regarding your timeshare. Cold Calling is not illegal, it is a recognised marketing tool, but there are certain regulations governing the industry, so it is important to do your due diligence and research the company before even contemplating engaging their services.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST!

End the Week: News from the Courts and the Latest on the Hellenic Scam

It is the end of another week and today we bring you a roundup of this week’s court news with more results against Anfi in Gran Canaria, a payout for a Palm Oasis (Tasolan) client and the Malaga Courts finding against Club la Costa. We also bring you the latest information on the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs scam coming out of Greece. Following on from our report on Global Timeshare Legal Experts on Monday, our friends at the TCA also covered this story on Wednesday. As we stated in our article not only has this company used cases from CLA but they have also used cases from M1 Legal based on the Costa del Sol, claiming that they are their cases. They also backed up our findings on the Dubai office and that they are not known in the building. Certainly does not look good.

Back in January 2020, we highlighted a scam that came to our attention originating from Greece and using the name “Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs”. We also brought updates in March 2020 and June 2020, (see links to the original articles below).

Today we bring you an update that is very disturbing and also gives Two new names to add to the growing list being used by these scammers.

Our reader was contacted by the usual “cold call” informing them that a company they had dealt with some years ago which was also a scam and is also known to us as Solutions Group (Tenerife) and is also working with the fake lawyers from the Litigious Abogados Family.

According to the caller who claims to be working for the Greek Supreme and Civil Courts, explained that her case (which they had no idea she had instigated) had found in their favour and she has been awarded £11,920 in compensation.

Great news and an unexpected windfall, but as usual there is a catch.

Our reader then received a letter via email informing them there is a payment that needs to be made to release the money which is being held in trust. This was followed up with an email confirming the details of the account and the name of the Beneficiary. The letter does have a name but it is written in Greek. We converted the PDF document to word to copy the name into translator, but the signature and the name is actually an image file, the email is signed by one Georgios Argiris or in Greek, Γεώργιος Αργύρης which is not the same as the signature.

Now it is the payment details that does show this is an out and out scam.

The payment is to be made to Ivanova Plamena, doesn’t sound very Greek to me, it also gives the following details:

Date of Birth: 16/07/1980

Email address: [email protected]

Postal address:  106 Akti Moutsopoulou Piraeus 18535 Attica

Telephone: +30 698 199 1100

Again there is another indication this is a scam, the Email address, it is a free Gmail account. So along with this along with the fact, the payment is made to a private individual and not any of the official authorities clearly shows this is a “FRAUD”.

Once again this really does show how diligent you must be, don’t be blinded by the sudden “windfall”, no matter how excited you might be to be receiving a large sum of money.

Now we move to the courts and these are genuine cases instigated by clients of Canarian Legal Alliance.

The first case involves our old friends at Anfi and a Swedish client, They have now received into their own bank account the sum of 31,302€.

The original sentence by the Court of First Instance declared the contract null and void and the court ordered the return of the money. As usual, Anfi decided to play the stalling tactic by appealing the decision to the High Court. But as we have seen in all these appeals the High Court rejected it and confirmed the original sentence.

In the meantime, the lawyers from CLA placed the usual “provisional execution order” and received a bank guarantee. This means that the bank itself physically blocks any movement of these funds during the appeals process.

Then on Tuesday, German clients had their contract with Palm Oasis (Tasolan) declared null and void with the return of 12,659€ plus legal interest by the Court of First Instance of San Bartolomè de Tirajana.

Going by their usual practice CLA applied to the court for a “provisional execution order” until the procedure is concluded if the company lodges an appeal with the High Court.

In this case, this was not actually required as Palm Oasis (Tasolan) paid the money VOLUNTARILY into the court. This was then released directly to the client’s own personal account.

Anfi, take note.

Wednesday brought news for a Norwegian client against Anfi, the Court of First Instance of SBT, declared their contract null and void, awarding 53,029€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

In this case, the client took out Anfi’s own finance package, this came with a huge interest rate of 11.5%, which the court ordered Anfi to repay.

The breakdown of the payment is 43,838€ for the purchase, 6,188€ for the interest and 3,003€ for the illegally taken deposit.

No doubt Anfi will not be following the example of Palm Oasis and we expect they will lodge another frivolous appeal with the High Court.

We now move to the Costa del Sol and the Court of First Instance of Malaga and a case against Club la Costa, the companies named in the case are:

Woolwich Investments SAU

Club la Costa Resort Management Ltd

Club la Costa Vacation Club

The court declared their contract null and void with the return of 53,593€ plus legal interest.

The amount was calculated by the court as 24,972€ plus an additional 32,981€ which is double the amount taken illegally as a deposit within the Statutory cooling-off period.

The courts are certainly all following the rulings of the Supreme Court and in the case of Club la Costa, the High Court of Malaga regarding the jurisdictional issue.

Well, that is all for this week, we hope you all have a great weekend and join us again next week for more news and information on the murky world of timeshare.

Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs pats articles

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-the-latest-eze-group-scam/

https://insidetimeshare.com/update-eze-group-scam-coming-from-greece/

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-monster-clients-targeted/

End the Week

Welcome to the last Friday of January and what a month it has been, we began the year with the news of several Club la Costa sales companies going into liquidation, news that has been seized upon by some of the less reputable companies that have emerged. According to our readers, they have been told that it is Club la Costa itself that is going into liquidation and they will lose their timeshares. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. It has also been a very bad and expensive month for Anfi. They have consistently lost all cases in the Court of First Instance, lodged appeals with the High Court, only to have them dismissed and rejected. They have also been forced to pay out to clients, who now have the money secured in their own accounts.

On 6 January, while Spain was celebrating Day of the Kings, we received news of a very important case against Diamond Resorts in the Court of First Instance in Fuengirola. The case centred around jurisdictional issues of the contract.

As we have explained before, many timeshare companies like Diamond and Club la Costa have a clause in their contracts which claim that the contract is subject to UK law and the jurisdiction of UK courts. Even though the purchase was made in Spain, deposits paid in Spain and the contract signed in Spain, thereby denying the legal rights afforded to consumers under Spanish law.

As with the other jurisdictional cases including those of Club la Costa, the court ruled as per the judgements of many High Court hearings, that Spanish law and courts take precedence and do have full jurisdiction. This is a blow to the timeshare companies who have used this to “escape” the strict regulations governing the sale of timeshare.

It should also be pointed out at this point, that this is also a breach of the “Code of Conduct” laid down by the trade body the RDO, whose code clearly states:

“To comply with all laws, which apply to Member’s, business in the jurisdiction in which the Member operates.”

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

We then began our series of articles about the ongoing battle between Azure clients, Barclays Partner Finance and the Financial Regulation Authority. This is around the loan agreements brokered by Azure, who for almost two years was not “authorised” to broker these loans.

As part of this series, we published the personal story of one family and how they ended up being sold a timeshare by Azure with so many false promises and the ubiquitous BPF loan. The story follows the problems this has caused especially with the passing of one of the partners. The article is called The Story of Smoke and Mirrors.

We also brought you news from around the courts in Spain, with some rather good results from two law firms and one independent lawyer.

The cases ranged from First Instance trials, appeals to the High Court, Jurisdictional issues and then embargos to force payments. All in all, it was an expensive week for timeshare.

There was also a visit to articles published by the TCA, the first was on the confusion around the Club la Costa liquidations, which has been extensively covered by the TCA and Inside Timeshare. They also published another scathing article on the timeshare industry, this time regarding the availability at Diamond Resorts through independent booking sites.

Again this is a subject that Inside Timeshare has covered, not just for Diamond but all the major timeshare resorts. The fact that non-members are able to book at these resorts, usually cheaper than members pay in maintenance fees, plus without the huge initial outlay to join, is, to say the least totally unfair.

We then ran two articles on the timeshare industry, focusing on the replacement for TATOC, to “represent” timeshare “owners”, this is called EUROC, European Resort Owners Coalition. The articles asked the question “do they actually represent you the members”? The answer to that we leave you to decide, we know what our answer is.

We then published an update on Themis Resolution, a “company” which does not appear to be registered either in Spain or the UK. Certainly doesn’t look good.

Then for our friends across the pond, we issued a warning on a scam operating out of Mexico, the Modus Operandi is very similar to a previous one and also mirrors that of our friends the Litigious Abogados Family.

We then continued to look at the RDO and EUROC with Timeshare Industry Denies the Truth.

In this article, we looked at one of their own members, our old friends at Anfi. It highlighted the breaches that this company has made in not just Spanish timeshare law, but also against the Code of Conduct of the RDO. It also asked the question, why this organisation does not “sanction” their members for these breaches? Again we leave you to make up your own mind, we know what we think.

We end this week with the happy news for one English client who won their case at the Court of First Instance against Anfi. Then to find that Anfi had as they always do to delay proceedings had lodged an appeal with the High Court.

While this was going on the “provisional execution order” had been put into place, this resulted in money being secured from an embargo against a tax refund that was due to Anfi.

The client who was represented by Canarian Legal Alliance has now received over 11,000€ into their account and are also timeshare and maintenance-free.

That is it for this week, we hope that you have enjoyed reading the articles and we welcome your comments and views. Join us again next week for more in the murky world of timeshare.

Have a great weekend.