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Mexico Timeshare FRAUD: April 18, 2015

scam warning >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

EVERYWHERE: At the top of this week’s expose of resale and recovery fraud in Mexico is this official notice from CEMEX:

CEMEX announced today that third parties not affiliated to CEMEX are illegally using different means, including CEMEX’s logo, forged signatures and other information, in unauthorized and fraudulent offers to purchase timeshares in Mexico on behalf of CEMEX and/or CEMEX executives.

The unauthorized and fraudulent activity has been detected in Mexico, the United States of America and Canada.

CEMEX does not purchase timeshares in Mexico and such activity is not directly or indirectly authorized by CEMEX. CEMEX suggests the general public ignore such offers to avoid becoming a victim of these fraudulent activities performed by third parties not affiliated with or authorized by CEMEX.

The same warning holds true for other companies and agencies whose names are being used to provide an air of legitimacy to the scammers. No matter which company supposedly wants to buy your timeshare ASSUME IT’S A FRAUD — because it IS a fraud!

Are the scammers getting more sophisticated or just more ballsie? Here’s a case where an unfortunate family was scammed out of nearly $24,000 via the resale scam, followed immediately — without even pausing for breath — by a refund/recovery scam. In this case the resale scam used the D.A. Realty company name, which has already been well exposed at this link (check the comments). This is a particularly sad case.

Once the con artists had coaxed $23.5k from their victims, they quickly went into the next phase of the scam as follows:

This morning when we spoke to Macaria Reyes, supposedly from SHCP, she told us that D.A. Realty was a scam company and that they have gotten Power of Attorney Forms in Mexico to claim the funds for these clients. Supposedly, at this point, the check we were to receive is not back in Mexico City yet but is on its way from the Tijuana San Ysidro border.

We have now been told that we have 2 options. We can wire over $6250.00 to pay for the Power of Attorney and they will send the check to the border where we would have to pick it up ourselves. Or we can wire over $4290.00 and proof of all the different wire transfers we have sent, and she can cancel the sale transaction and have all our money refunded.

Also, according to her, we only have about 2 days to do this or it will end up in the Mexican Courts. Do you have any information that might help me verify if the people we are speaking to, supposedly from the Mexican Courts are actually who they say they are? I can provide you with names, phone numbers and the agencies listed on the emails and wire transfers. We have to make a decision very fast as that is not only our entire life savings, but also money we have borrowed from friends and family.

Here are some of the phone numbers associated with the recovery part of the scam; they are all bogus:

  • Vanessa Salazar in Administration 213-443-8789 who said we had to pay a 10% paper processing fee followed by
  • Roberto Hernandez 866-575-3685 ext. 102 confirming the amount to wire. The $1975.90 was wired to Javia Agencia International Mexicana, S.A. DE C.V supposedly the Secretary of Tourism

These numbers, also associated with the scam, are also bogus:

  • Macaria Reyes – 866-575-3685
  • Oscar Herrero – 866-575-3685
  • Maria Navarro – 866-765-9026
  • Mexican Customs at Tijuana-San Ysidro Border – 011-52-198-41-179423
  • U.S. Customs at San Ysidro-Tijuana Border – 619-356-4135

Note that the last number is associated with several scams over a couple of years or so. It is NOT the legitimate phone number for U.S. Customs at San Ysidro. You can find the real phone numbers at the U.S. Customs website http://www.cbp.gov/contact/ports/san-ysidro-class

Information on what steps you can take if you’ve been scammed, as well as how to recognize a scam, follows below.

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►►► 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]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2015/04/mexico-timeshare-fraud-april-18-2015/

6 comments

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  1. deb

    Here is the information Aaron gave us. His name is Aaron Berumen. email address is [email protected] The phone number he gave us in Mexico was 044-984-138-5009. This was a working number in Mexico, he answered when we called him the day after we signed, which was April 12, 2015. The number he told us to call from the states was (011-52-1) 984-138-5009. We gave this number to the fraud investigator at our credit card company, she said she was able to reach him. Hope this helps!

  2. deb

    My husband just dug out the paper that has Aaron Berumen’s number on it and an email address. If you guys need it let me know! I would be more that happy to supply that for you. Maybe it could help in catching the jerk!

  3. deb

    We were scammed as well on April 11, 2015 in Playa del Carmen in the rear of Al Cacao Chocolate Cafe. The sales Manager was a white,short, bald American, Aaron and the guy assigned to explain the program to us was Chris, tall white American with a handlebar mustache. They were using the name of Luxury Holiday International to sell weeks of vacation. In our case, 200 weeks, although they were going to buy 5 weeks back to bring the price down. They also said they would buy two of our timeshares, which was very appealing to us. Although it sounded way too good to be true, we signed. The other couple we were with started to feel uneasy the next day and started to research the company. Of course they found out it was a scam. So immediately we called Aaron and told him we wanted out. Frankly, we were quite shocked that he even answered the phone and that he actually gave us his phone number. He told us no problem, if we didn’t feel comfortable with the company we could cancel the contract. He told us to meet him in the office at 8:30am the next morning and we did. He signed the paper we had drawn up rescinding the purchase and we went on our way. He said the 13,500.00 would be credited back to our account. Unfortunately it hasn’t been yet, and we don’t believe it will be. We have contacted our credit card company. They have advised us to wait 15 days to see if the money will be refunded. After the 15 days they will get involved to see if they can resolve it and get our money back. What a way to ruin a great vacation.

    1. I was offered a similar situation

      On April 24, 2015 we were offered $5000 Pesos to listen to a 90 minute presentation. In order to qualify you need to have two credit cards and own 2 timeshares with a membership with RCI or similar. We listened to a presentation about Platinum Marketing of America. These people were representing the company about to develop large condominiums on Constituyentes Ave. They said they needed to buy property in order to enter a lower tax bracket. The meeting was in an unmarked building beside AH CACAO hot chocolate shop. Actually you entered through the AH CACAO building.
      We were offered 8x what we paid for one of our time shares, but the deal was we needed to join the private owners club which would pay out 5000 per year for 20 years. Their offer of 40, 000 for our property came up a short on the new contract so they would advance us 10 years payments to help us pay. There was going to be a payment of $6300 required to cover taxes and legal fees required but we didn’t follow through on it. Not sure if it was legit now, after reading above but i’m glad we backed out. They did pay us the $5000 pesos.

    2. Anonymous

      Hi, I would like a couple of things confirmed;
      What is Aaron Berumen’s phone # and e-mail address?
      There is a lady at their sales office by the name of Lin Howarth who claims her husband is the Sales Director by the name of Aaron. So wondering if they go by different last names.
      they also claim to represent Punta Resorts and not Luxury Holiday international.

      I am trying to tie in information to see if they are one in the same. Any other information that this is conclusive of being a fraud would be appreciated.

      Thank you

  4. DISLIKE ARMSTRONG

    This has ADAM ARMSTRONG written all over it.

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