MADRID, Spain, November 24, 2009- Spain, which has led the pack in timeshare and holiday club fraud in recent years, is finally cracking down. In their latest effort to stem the fraud, Spanish police announced on Nov. 23 that they have arrested 22 people in the southern city of Malaga and on Tenerife in the Canary Islands for allegedly running a bogus timeshare scam.
The names and nationalities of the suspects were not released.
In an all too familiar scenario, police say the suspects convinced their victims they had found people who wanted to buy the right to use their homes, charging fees upfront to cover fees for the deal. Of course, once the money was collected the accused fraudsters disappeared never to be heard from again.
But according to a police statement the scam didn’t stop there. Following the initial fraud, members of the network recontacted some of the victims posing as lawyers and offering to help those who had been scammed.
“They would claim to have recuperated the money that had been defrauded and assured them that it would be returned to them, demanding fresh payments for their services,” police said in a statement.
Unfortunately, many victims were thus tricked a second time.
Police said they carried out 11 searches as part of their operation, seizing two guns, an electric shock device, several shackles and more than EUR 30,000 in cash.