>> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS
EVERYWHERE: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… That’s what I’ve got for you this week.
There’s the old Subprocuraduria recovery scam, the phony Revel Events Management resale scam, Prestige Property Group running the same old resale scam under a new name, and more information straight from some folks with direct experience with the so-called Private Travel Corporation working with Hacienda Encantada in Los Cabos.
Don’t shove, now; there’s plenty of news for everyone…
Something Old: That would be the veteran Subprocuraduria de Servicios Verificacion scam AGAIN, because that particular recovery scam seems to be so successful for them that they see no reason to change.
They cite themselves as working with or on behalf of several government agencies, most frequently CONDUSEF and P.G.R., but those claims are bogus and the documents they proffer are forgeries. I’ve shown some of those documents before; take a look and if you are sent docs that resemble them you can be assured they are phony as a 3-dollar bill.
One thing new about this old scam is their email address. They used to use an email address that resembled a real Mexican government address, but when that was thoroughly busted (they used a “-gob.mx” instead of the legitimate “.gob.mx” suffix) they switched to the simple “@subprocu.com” and “@subprocu.info”. Note that there is no website associated with either email address; the domains were registered solely for email purposes.
Here’s how the email contacts usually start:
Subprocuraduría de Servicios de Verificación is the entity appointed by P.G.R. to filter and conduct investigation on all victimized foreign vacation investment owners and present them to CONDUSEF for restitution. P.G.R. in conjunction with CONDUSEF have seized a number of financial accounts and real estate assets amounting in millions of dollars from a number of “Resort Marketing and Timeshare” call centers and scam offices involved in fraudulent transactions within the timeshare industry.
One more time: No agency of the Mexican government wants to give you money to recompense you for being defrauded by some timeshare company in the past. Every claim in that quote is a lie. There is no fund. It is a scam!
Something New: Prestige Property Group, “I have been dealing with Michael Langford and Debbie Scott at Prestige Property Group out of Los Angeles. Address: 1109 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90015 says they have Mexican company (Grupo Modelo S.A de C.V) that wants to buy my Trinidad/Tobago timeshare. We paid $25,000 for the timeshare several years ago…they are offering $36,200, with the 10% “Mexican tax” to be sent electronically when I am ready.” Yeah, right.
There is no company named Prestige Property Group registered as business entity in the state of California. It does not legally exist; it’s a fraud. Really that’s all you need to know to be sure the whole thing is a fraud.
Further research shows the phone number to be a VoIP (Voice over IP, Internet Phone) number. The carrier is PAETEC COMMUNICATIONS, which has a reputation for knowingly selling VoIP numbers to scammers. Add to that the FACT that the Mexican government does NOT require the payment of any type of fees or taxes on timeshare resales.
They told this potential victim, “They do not want their 7% commission until AFTER I am fully funded.”
Here’s what would happen if she paid that bogus Mexican tax: They would suddenly discover some other “official” fee she needed to pay, and then another one, then another one for as long as they could drag her along. Read one person’s experience at this link to see in detail what the scammers have in store for you if you ever fall for this scam: http://insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2015/03/mexico-timeshare-fraud-march-28-2015/
ALSO: Revel Events Management, purporting to be located in Chicago, IL, is the most recent scammer company I’ve learned of being involved in Mexico’s timeshare resale fraud. Here’s their supposed contact info:
Revel Event Management
Direct Line: (312) 473-9940
Office: (312) 473-8002
1) There is no such company registered to do business in the state of Illinois, not in Chicago or anywhere else.
2) There is no such company located at the address they claim (8 S Michigan Ave.). There is a USPS mailbox collection station there and a good number of offices, but none of those offices belong to Revel.
3) Their truly awful website is brand new, having been privately registered/created in February 2015. It will expire in February 2016.
4) Their phone and FAX numbers are VoIP numbers (like Skype and Magic Jack), where Chicago area codes have been chosen but the phones themselves could be located anywhere in the world.
5) This is where the “Something Borrowed” comes into play: There is a real company named Revel Event Management, but it’s located in Australia and has nothing whatsoever to do with timeshare. The scammers have simply “borrowed” the name. AND They say on their truly awful website: “As a company, we use our years of experience to bring together buyers and sellers in a unique, cost-effective and easy way.” They appear to have borrowed that text from U Vacation Properties, which is also a scam — website address registered July 214 for one year by one Larry Caballero (yeah, right) with an address in Mexico City though they falsely claim an address in Dallas, TX; and Texas has no record of the company in its database. (See the BBB alert) Like Revel, U Vacation is a fake company, probably operated by the same grifters.
Something Blue: The unfortunate timeshare owners who have become victims of the con artists operating out of Mexico. I know from emails I receive that these posts have helped to save a lot of people from becoming victims and I’m glad of that, but the very fact that the scams continue at full force after so many years tells me that the word is not reaching enough people. And that makes me blue, too.
To finish this off, here are a couple of personal experiences with PTC, aka Private Travel Corporation, which I’ve discussed at some length before. I’ll just note here that though they have previously said the company is headquartered in Utah, no company with that name is registered to do business in Utah’s Division of Corporations and Commercial Code. Private Travel Corporation does not exist as a legitimate business in Utah and the address they list at 6300 Sagewood Drive Ste H-236 Park City, UT 84098 resolves to a UPS Store. That has not changed since I first reported it. PTC apparently was hired by Hacienda Encantada as an independent sales and marketing entity in October 2013. Ryan Wolkov seems to be running the show for PTC, with Andy Cameron and Dave Doyle as assistant managers.
Needed to update you on PTC, they informed me they are a legitimate company based out of Cabo, after telling them I researched the company. I was scammed into buying a timeshare 2 wks ago at Hacienda Encantada (marketing manager Ryan) by being told that PTC ( a US company based out of Utah), would pay 2x the maintenance fee through their maintenence recovery program for 7yrs and I would be receiving $5770.00 annually. I would have to pay up front enrollment fee of $2540.00 plus the down payment of timeshare of $7106.00. I said, I needed some sort of proof and then I got a list of names of people paid out this January 2015 from
I said, I needed something in writing and salesperson said you will be receiving a contract from PTC via email. Of course, nothing in email just instructions on how to deposit weeks. I spoke to Brian at PTC and told them about negative press and he said you are a dissatisfied customer,blah blah. PTC has in their acknowledgment letter/terms and conditions that they reserve the right to change or modify Maintenance Recovery Program. I said, PTC can stop paying if economy or if anything changes and Brian (PTC) stated: we still paid out after hurricane…
I asked how long in business he said 3yrs. I said, why do I see posts in past about PTC in business 10 yrs, he said it was a typo and we retracted that. Hacienda Encantada ( Ryan) ? Wolkov told me I could sell my Pueblo Bonito TS through International Travel Exchange (ITX) for 18k through them and she would list my property, as I told them I cant afford 2 timeshares. They would schedule meeting with her in a few days so I could meet her.
There you have it. This is what Ryan at Hacienda Encantada is up to these days, with his sleezy sales team of deceptive professional sociopaths.
I own and enjoy staying at Hacienda Encantada. I recently attended a TS presentation there where as part of the sales process of the property, the PTC feature was incorporated into the sale. I bought an upgrade to a new unit at the property at HE along with the PTC.
After unsuccessfully trying to verify representations made regarding the PTC, I decided to cancel the TS upgrade and the PTC charge (we did not receive a contract for the PTC program, but got an enrollment email from them). Your website posting regarding PTC is the only “review” I was able to find. Needless to say that made the sales manager unhappy. But I was within the 5 days and insisted upon receiving a full refund without the “liquidated damages” for the full deposit he told me we would have to pay. Following some flowery language from me ending the conversation and the manager storming off, a sales woman handed me the cancellation form that stated I would receive a full refund.
Because we did not have an agreement with PTC, the sales woman suggested we call our credit card company and reverse the charge, which we did.
If you would like any information from me regarding how this program is being represented, I would be happy to share that information with you.
Note also that since I first reported on PTC they have pretty much scrubbed their website of any information that might actually be helpful to consumers. You will find no names of company executives, no company address, no indication of how long they’ve been in business, etc. It is a stripped-to-the-bone website.
That’s it for this week, though I do have more to share with you next time.
More information on what steps you can take if you’ve been scammed, as well as how to recognize a scam, follows below.
►►► 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 [email protected]
“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: [email protected]