As scammers use various methods to target unsuspecting timeshare owners who want to sell. Some common tactics include making unsolicited phone calls and claiming that someone is interested in buying the timeshare, but requiring an upfront fee without disclosing the selling process. Once scammers obtain money and information, they disappear without a trace.
Unfortunately, some entities posing as reputable resale companies with good reviews on Better Business Bureau and successful sales also operate out of Mexico. These scammers manipulate timeshare owners by establishing a sense of trust and then using deceptive tactics to take advantage of them.
To avoid falling victim to timeshare resale scams from Mexico, it is important to be aware of their tricks and do research before doing business with any company claiming to sell timeshares.
How Timeshare Resale Scams From Mexico Operate
When it comes to timeshare resale scams, things can get even more complicated and corrupt when they are run from another country, such as Mexico. These scammers are not bound by the same rules and regulations as domestic timeshare law, and they are willing to deceive you about their identity and the potential profit you could make from your resale.
To lure you into their trap, these scammers often pretend to be an American company, using fake identities and fraudulent promises to make you believe they are trustworthy. They may offer you an exceptionally high selling price for your timeshare, which may seem too good to be true. Once you express interest, they will ask you to fill out various documents and provide them with upfront payment.
However, as you continue to work with them, they will bombard you with requests for more money and provide little to no progress updates on your resale. If you try to contact them, you may find that they are unresponsive or even non-existent. In some cases, these fraudsters may go to great lengths to create realistic business profiles, including real phone numbers, email addresses, and even fake employees.
It’s essential to be cautious and vigilant when dealing with timeshare resale companies, especially those operating from other countries. Be sure to research the company thoroughly, verify their credentials, and never provide upfront payment without a clear understanding of their services and fees.
The scammers falsely present themselves as an American company.
There have been countless reports of individuals being contacted by fraudulent timeshare resellers operating out of Mexico. One example involves a Chicago-based timeshare owner who was approached by a local company called Intercontinental Realty in 2022. The company, which claimed to be a legitimate real estate brokerage, offered to sell the owner’s Cancun timeshare for an exorbitant sum of over a million dollars – an unheard-of price for a used timeshare property. Seduced by the high selling price and the promise of escaping their timeshare contract, the owner completed a series of documents and provided money upfront as requested. However, as their dealings with Intercontinental Realty continued, they were constantly hounded for more money, resulting in the loss of $300,000 from their bank account.
Finding themselves in a financially precarious position with no progress on the resale, the owner hired a private investigator. Despite scheduling several meetings with Intercontinental Realty employees, the investigator was stood up each time, and their alleged office address turned out to be a dormitory for the Art Institute of Chicago. Multiple attempts to contact the company resulted in unanswered voicemails. The private investigator was able to confirm the fraudulent nature of the company when they traced the owner’s wire transfers to Mexico. It was then revealed that Intercontinental Realty was not a legitimate Chicago-based timeshare reseller and could not possibly achieve a million-dollar sale.
Some fraudulent timeshare resale scammers use the identities of legitimate companies to appear trustworthy
The California Bureau of Real Estate reports that some criminals have been caught using the names of licensed real estate companies to carry out illegal transactions, such as timeshare resales. This is made possible because information about real estate companies and their licensees is readily available online, including their license numbers. By posing as a legitimate business or professional, scammers can gain credibility and deceive timeshare owners.
Identity theft is a commonly used tactic among timeshare resale scammers operating in Mexico. It’s crucial to be aware of the warning signs of timeshare fraud, such as requests for suspicious forms of payment like wire transfers, gift cards, or prepaid card payments. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, some fraudsters may also ask you to open an account with a specific bank and make an initial deposit into it, which should be considered a red flag. It’s important to cease communication with anyone who asks for such payments or requests you to open an account with a Mexican bank.
Resale scammers from Mexico often make unrealistic promises of high selling prices
Reselling a timeshare property at a huge profit is a dream come true for most owners, especially those who have been paying for maintenance fees for years. Unfortunately, scammers from Mexico take advantage of this desire to make a quick buck by making unrealistic promises. These fraudulent resale companies cold-call timeshare owners and claim that they have a buyer who is willing to pay double or triple the market value of the property. They even say that the upfront fees they are charging are small compared to what the owner will earn from the sale. However, these are just empty promises.
In reality, making a profit from a timeshare resale is highly unlikely because the market is saturated, and most people prefer to buy new timeshares rather than used ones. Furthermore, finding a buyer or someone willing to take over the property is challenging due to the high maintenance fees associated with timeshares. So, if a company promises an unrealistically high return on your timeshare resale, it is most likely a scam, and you should steer clear of it.
Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to a Timeshare Scam in Mexico
Resale scammers from Mexico use deceptive tactics to convince timeshare owners to provide personal information and wire money, offering big profits that never materialize, often posing as fake “American companies” or stealing the identity of legitimate ones, leading to stress, debt, and unsold timeshare properties. To work with a reputable and efficient exit company, consider contacting Centerstone Group, the only timeshare exit team that can get clients out of Mexican timeshare contracts and provide a better exit value than any other company or law firm.