>> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS
EVERYWHERE: “I was contacted by The Travel Center Inc., 7500 College Blvd Overland Park, Kansas,” said one Tom Ralph in a comment. “Bob Ford is his name. Sounds like another scam for buying my time share.”
That didn’t give me much to work with, but after a little bit of searching I did find this information, all of it of a suspicious nature.
First of all, THE TRAVEL CENTER, INC., a travel agency, was formed as a corporation on June 15, 1979 in Kansas by Arlin A. Hill and his wife Barbara, with an address in Wichita. The last annual report they filed was in 2011; at some point after that the corporation was forfeited for failure to file timely annual reports and/or pay the annual report fee or franchise tax; it ceased to be a valid company. Essentially, the Hills simply abandoned the company, and their website also was abandoned and no longer exists. Perhaps, after 32 years of doing business, they simply decided to retire?
But here’s where things start looking hinky. On Feb. 26, 2015 someone using the name Jennifer Aderhold filed all the past due annual reports for the company (and paid the fees) from 2012 thru 2015. At the same time Aderhold filed a reinstatement document, using her own name as registered agent and sole officer/director. It is still listed on the corporate document as a travel agency. The address she used was, as mentioned by the commenter in the above quote, 7500 College Blvd, Suite 500, Overland Park, Kansas.
Guess who owns that address? A Regus Business Center, home to virtual offices, mail forwarding services, etc.
The name Bob Ford is nowhere mentioned in any of the documents.
It looks like this outfit is so new that it hasn’t generated much attention on the search engines yet, but if they’re contacting timeshare owners about buying/selling timeshares I’d be vewy vewy careful about doing business with them. Check out ITG’s “How to Spot a Scam” and especially “The Mexico Escrow Scam” before you agree to anything.
I’ll update all y’all as soon as I have more to go on.
More information on what you can do if you’ve been scammed follows below.
The thieves operating these schemes may feel pretty safe because they’re doing their dirty work from a foreign country, but they’re mistaken if they think the long arm of US or Canadian or other international authorities can’t get them, given enough documentation from the victims of their scams to provide proper incentive. It took a few years to get the infamous Michael Kelly, for instance, but in the end he spent 6 of the last 7 years of his miserable life in jail. And now they’ve nabbed Keith Kosco, who has pleaded guilty to multiple frauds and identity theft.
It can be done. 😉
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; (or the RCMP or the Office of Consumer Affairs if you’re in Canada;) Make sure to mention it is a transnational, 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.
Again: CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE ALL OF THE POSTS IN THIS BLOG ABOUT MEXICO’S TIMESHARE RESALE/ESCROW/BANK WIRE SCAMS! If any of them resemble a scenario that applies to you, EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME, assume it’s a scam and walk away.
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]
If you have more information about The Travel Center Inc., email me at [email protected] so I can share it with everyone else.