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Mexico Timeshare FRAUD: February 28, 2015

scam warning >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

EVERYWHERE: here are the names of the Mexican timeshare resale scam companies/agencies I’ll be exposing this week. NOTE that if you are contacted by any of these companies (or have been already) there is no question that you are being (or have been) SCAMMED. I’m not listing them for the fun of it, I’m listing them BECAUSE THEY ARE SCAMS.

  • Lakebridge Realty, purportedly in Portland, OR. This one is a repeat because I’m still getting questions about them.
  • Continental Title, purportedly in Eden Prairie, MN (working in conjunction with Lakebridge Realty)
  • Morgan Hill Funding Group, purportedly in New York
  • Lawson Management, Inc., purportedly in Chicago, IL
  • Luxury Holiday International, purportedly in Maryland
  • Sotheby’s Vacation Sales, purportedly a Delaware corporation
  • Seven Star Allocation Group, purportedly in Shreveport, LA

Those are ALL scam companies being worked out of Mexico in order to steal your money. More information follows below the squiggle.

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Lakebridge Realty: As noted previously, Lakebridge Realty was incorporated in Oregon in June, 2014 for a term of 2 years; its website was registered in August 2014 and expires August 2015. Its corporate address resolves to a Regus Business Center in Portland, home to virtual offices, mail forwarding, etc., and a common tactic of resale/recovery scams; it’s unlikely that they have an actual office there.

Add to that the fact that they are associated with known scams such as Minne Realty, Continental Title and others plus the fact that their phone numbers are VoIP numbers (like Skype or Magic Jack) that probably end up being answered in Mexico and a growing number of complaints about their business practices and you’ve got a classic example of the Mexico timeshare resale fraud pattern.

Continental Title, Inc.: This company was incorporated Oct. 15, 2014 and is due for renewal Dec. 15, 2015 but their website claims they’ve been in business since 1996. No registered agent or officer is named. Their address at 7825 Washington Avenue Eden Prairie, MN resolves to the Olympic Place Business Center, a virtual office company that provides such things as a virtual phone system and live receptionists to answer phones, among other things. The phone number Continental provides (612-284-1569) is a VoIP (Voice over IP, Internet Phone) number with a Minneapolis-St. Paul area code, but could in reality be originating from anywhere (including Mexico) via entities like Skype and Magic Jack. The domain name/website address was registered August 22, 2014 and expires August 22, 2015.

The name “Continental Title” (sometimes called Continental Title Escrow) is so similar to several legitimate companies as to sow a lot of confusion. The BBB currently has an alert for this company.

I currently have no names associated with this company, so if one of you wants to help us out with that we’d all be grateful.

Morgan Hill Funding Group: This company’s website says, “MORGAN HILL FUNDING GROUP has been facilitating both simple and complex residential, commercial and industrial real estate transactions outside the United States for may [sic] years. Our professionals are well experienced in property ownership and conveyancing practices in nations around the world, understand local customs and have established strong relationships in major markets where our customers do business.”

Really? To start with, there is no such company as Morgan Hill Funding registered in New York. It does not legally exist as a business entity. It is a fake company. Its address at 101 Barclay St., NY belongs to The Bank of New York, Technology and Operations Center, Irving Trust Operations Center. I don’t think Morgan Hill has an office there (snark alert). The address for their “branch office”, 115, 5 Avenue, SW Calgary in Alberta, Canada, belongs to an underground parking garage.

The domain name for the company’s website was privately registered by a Panama entity in July 2014 and expires in July 2015. The website itself is straight “out of the box”, poorly written and contains lots of spelling and gramatical errors but little information of any real value. Is that enough to tell you it’s a scam?

Lawson Management, Inc.: Lawson Management, Inc. did exist in Illinois at one time but it was dissolved in 2012 so it is no longer a legal corporation. That means it is a fake company; someone is using the name, impersonating the company, to scam people. Also, their address at 227 W. Quincy St., Chicago, IL does not exist. It is a totally fake address.

The domain/website address was registered July 18, 2014 and expires July 18, 2015, but the copyright date on the website says © 2007 – seven years before the website existed – which does not make sense.

Also – like Morgan Hill – the registration is privacy protected by a company in Panama, so I can’t tell who owns the name.

Luxury Holiday International: Purportedly headquartered in Maryland, the state has no record of it as a registered business entity. In other words, it’s a fake company. That alone should tell you it’s involved in a scam, right? This is supposedly a “travel/vacation club” associated with the infamous Punta Pacifico resort (formerly the La Jolla) in Mazatlan, but online reports indicate that it is currently operating in Cancun and Cabo San Lucas as well (and possibly elsewhere). Other names it has reportedly used in the past include Vacation Getaway, Signature Residence Club and Global Travel Services among others. Buyers beware!

Sotheby’s Vacation Sales This is purportedly a Delaware corporation but Delaware has no record of it. It doesn’t legally exist and you should note that it is not associated with the famous Sotheby’s Auction House or real estate company. In fact, Sotheby’s International Realty has a warning message about this fraud on their site which can be accessed at http://www.sothebysrealty.com/eng/fraud-alert

The address this company provides resolves to Wilmington’s tallest building, 1201 N. Market St. Wilmington, which is home to many prestigious law, trust and brokerage firms. It is also home to a FedEx office. It is not home to Sotheby’s Vacation Sales (notice they don’t provide a suite number as part of their address.)

This company is one of the disposal/transfer/resale companies that have taken root all over Mexico, supposedly offering “back end” services to developers to get rid of a client’s timeshare so that client can purchase a NEW timeshare (or vacation club membership or etc.), with the sales amount applied to the cost of the new program to make it affordable. And if you want to find out more about how these outfits work, take a look at this expose.

Seven Star Allocation Group: Purportedly located in Shreveport, LA, this “resale” company’s website says they’ve been in business since 1998 but there is actually no company by that name registered to do business in Louisiana. It’s a fake company, just like all the others I’ve listed today. Not only that, but the address they list at 506 Texas St. is a vacant lot; the local BBB checked it out and has issued an alert to that effect. The BBB adds that when the phone number is called, a receptionist answers, but will not provide information about the business and only transfers calls and no one answers.

Note also that the domain name/website address for the company was registered Jan. 12, 2015 and expires Jan. 12, 2016. It’s brand spanking new, yet the copyright notice at the bottom says Copyright 1998 – 2014. SCAM!

►►► CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE ALL OF THE POSTS IN THIS BLOG ABOUT MEXICO’S TIMESHARE RESALE/ESCROW/BANK WIRE SCAMS!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE IN DETAIL HOW THE TELEMARKETING BOILER ROOMS IN THE PUERTO VALLARTA AREA OPERATE PLUS THE REAL NAMES OF SOME OF THE SCAMMERS!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO LEARN HOW TO RECOGNIZE IF YOU’VE BEEN TARGETED IN A RECOVERY/REFUND SCAM ◄◄◄

►►► Keep in mind that operating a scam from within a foreign country does not make anyone safe from the long arm of the law in the USA or elsewhere. For example:

A 21-year-old Florida woman who said she dropped out of school in ninth grade admitted Monday that she defrauded about $800,000 from unsuspecting investors.

Using the stolen identity of a Credit Suisse bank official, a UPS mail drop in Fort Lauderdale and her experience as a timeshare saleswoman, Amy Brook Wilkerson admitted running the scam while living overseas in Turkey and Georgia.
See the rest at http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/crime/fl-fraud-broward-credit-suisse-20150112-story.html

But to reach that point authorities must have serious documentation that some kind of crime has indeed been committed. So take whatever evidence you may have, make your case to the proper authorities and make sure you explain that others across the country (and internationally) are doing this, too, that the scheme affects many people from all over to the tune of millions of dollars. ◄◄◄

What you need to do if you are a victim of a scam is contact the authorities:

  • Your local police; There’s little they can do, but it does provide an official record
  • your state attorney general’s office; Make sure to mention it is an international, multi-state scam so they can coordinate with other attorneys general
  • the FBI via IC3 (a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. The IC3 not only collects complaints but also analyzes them, links similar complaints, and discerns patterns in order to help law enforcement identify the scammers);
  • the US  Marshals Service;
  • Interpol – United States Central Bureau; Interpol’s databases help law enforcement see the big picture of international crime. While other agencies have their own extensive crime databases, the information rarely extends beyond one nation’s borders. Interpol can track criminals and crime trends around the world. They maintain collections of fingerprints and face photos, lists of wanted persons, DNA samples and travel documents. Their lost and stolen travel document database alone contains more than 12 million records. They also analyze all these data and release information on crime trends to the member countries.
  • the Department of Justice – Office of International Affairs; and anyone else you can think of.

It isn’t likely to help you get any of your funds back, but eventually it might help obtain some sort of justice in shutting them down/getting some of them arrested. Keep in mind that many of the scammers are US Citizens, Canadians and Brits; they can all be prosecuted (including Mexicans) if enough evidence is collected by authorities and if they can then be located and arrested.

And if you still think that maybe your case is different and might be for reals, send me the details BEFORE you wire any funds to Mexico (or anywhere else) and I’ll check it out for you. Email gatekeeper@insidethegate.com



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” –Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com



Permanent link to this article: https://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2015/02/mexico-timeshare-fraud-february-28-2015/

1 comment

  1. Anonymous

    DO NOT SO ANY BUSINESSES WITH THESE SCAM. THEY SCAM ME OUT OF $14,000. JOHN SKUTT, ANDREA FOX, NATASHA BROWN FROM THE TITLE COMPANY AND FROM LAKEBRIDGE REALTY DAVID DIAZ, RAPHAEL SUPPOSED TO BE THE SUPERVISOR ARE ALL SCAMS. THEY WERE TRYING TO SCAM MORE OUT OF ME AND I WOKE UP AND REALIZED IT. I’VE CONTACTED A LAWYER AND THE FBI.

    AND THIS GUY FROM THE SAT JORGE OCAMPO ARE ALL IN IT. I HOPE THEY ALL GO TO HELL!!!!!!




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