SPOKANE, WA (January 7, 2016) — Better Business Bureau has recently been alerted of a suspect timeshare purchasing business called All Business Consultant Services (ABCS) claiming to be located in Dalton Gardens, Idaho. A consumer was contacted by phone by a representative from ABCS offering to purchase the consumer’s timeshare in Mexico. The solicitor claimed to have a buyer interested in purchasing the timeshare who was willing to pay more than face value and already had cash in an escrow account for the purchase.
It sounded like the perfect transaction until the consumer received a call from the supposed escrow agent, who explained the contract included a $4,100 fee to pay the new owner up front due to Mexican government taxes.
Another consumer reported that ABCS transferred the sale to an escrow agent with Epic National Title and Settlement Services in Lakewood, Colorado to complete the transaction. She paid the requested $4,000 in taxes and fees up front and has heard nothing since. Epic National Title has an F rating with the Colorado BBB due to lack of required licensing.
BBB’s investigation revealed the address listed as ABCS’s physical location is a postal store. ABCS claims to have been in business since 2012, but it appears the owner of the company purchased the business name in Idaho in August 2015 from a corporation that had formed in 2012 so they were able to reinstate the business and use the previous company’s start date as their own.
BBB has confirmed the Mexican government does not require any kind of tariff, title or change fee up front from a timeshare seller.
If you are solicited by All Business Consultant Services or another similar company, BBB offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to a scam:
- Seek legal aid. Unless you know the laws regarding a real estate transaction, it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel. This can ensure all parties are acting in a legal manner and all procedures are being followed. If you feel unsure about any step in the sale, you can consult with a lawyer who can advise you about additional steps to take.
- Beware of red flags. A business asking for upfront fees and fees related to taxes is a sign the company is not looking to close a transaction. Typically, an escrow company service fee will range from $300-$500, plus any additional third party fees. A business should not seek any fees until after the deal has been closed.
- Overseas sales can be tricky. Selling a timeshare or property from another country can be difficult. You’re dealing with foreign laws and jurisdiction outside of your state and the United States. Consult with a lawyer to see what your options are.
- Never give out your personal identification. Be careful if a business requests either a driver license or passport to verify who you are. Providing that information could result in someone stealing your identity.
PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: BBB of E. Washington, N. Idaho & Montana