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Mexico Timeshare FRAUD: June 6, 2015

scam warning >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

CABO SAN LUCAS: Remember these names: Boutique Travel Leisure, World Travel Leisure, Royal Leisure Rewards, Royal Residence Club and Black Diamond AZ.

Now look at these screen captures of the websites of three of those companies:

BTL screenshot

BoutiqueTravelLeisure.com screen capture

RRC screenshot

Royal-ResidenceClub.com screen capture

WTL screenshot

WorldTravelLeisure.com screen capture

Yeah, you get it don’t you?

The website for Royal Leisure Rewards has been suspended or I’d bet it would look just like those three.

Other similarities among all five of those domain names/websites include: all of them were registered way less than one year ago, all are being hosted on the same Mexican servers, all but one used the same registrar for registration purposes, only one (Black Diamond) has an address listed on the website (and that address is in London) or gives any indication at all of where the “company” is allegedly located.

Notably, Black Diamond, while boasting a UK address on its website, shows a domain registration address in Mazatlan, MX. The registrant is Antonio Diaz of Kaspita Studios, a Mexican company that designs websites among other things (being the registrant means Diaz is the actual owner of the domain whether or not he is affiliated with Black Diamond). Does anyone want to bet whether or not Black Diamond is really located in London? Or that it’s even a real company?

Do you want to know what’s behind all of this? Follow me below the squiggle.
squiggly

What’s happening in Cabo is no different from what’s been happening in the Puerto Vallarta area, Cancun and elsewhere in Mexico as well as what was going on in Coco Bay, Costa Rica. Notably, many of the crooks who started out selling scams such as the Puerto Bahia scam, the Belaire Golf Resort & Spa scam, Castles and Condos, Grand Miramar, World Luxury Destinations, Mondavi, et al have made their way throughout Mexico (and into other Latin American countries) to run similar scams, training other would-be fraudsters along the way.

So here’s how the scenario worked in Cabo San Lucas for one victim. Learn from his experience!

We were in Cabo San Lucas on a vacation and I was asking about doing a fishing trip. I was dealing with a vendor on the Marina and the person I initially talked to was in one of the booths along the marina and I think he actually had one of the badges that I found about later. Unfortunately he brought another person over who we dealt with.

He said I could get my fishing trip just by going to a timeshare presentation. …we set it up for two days out. He gave us a voucher for a fishing boat, $400 cash, and a $75 voucher for a marina restaurant. We thought that was a good deal and left.

…we went to the Boutique Travel Leisure and they took us to the gated community at Pedregal to a private residence and their vacation plan, there were at least 10 people involved, they seemed very professional, knew the timeshare industry well, and answered most of our questions very well.

The program they described … included buying your timeshare for slightly over market price. They showed us fake websites for the brokerage company, supposedly in Arizona. They showed fake logins to their websites on the vacation plans we could get at discounted prices. It seemed like a great deal a while we were trying to get more information they would distract us.

They had one or more Americans involved in the scam, one very smooth Italian salesman, and several other staff members – secretaries, clerks, salesmen, drivers, etc. as well as some other customers – real or not – after the fact I am not positive, but they could have been potential victims just like us.

They wanted $10,000 to sign up for the deal and they would sell your timeshare for $15,000. We were there several hours, they seemed very professional, there was a great view from the house they were showing and they said this is the unit you would get from their program. [editor’s note: the promised $400 was applied to the sales price, which ended up being $9,600]

We thought about it and said sure, put it on our credit cards and left. The next day we met them at the marina and the person that was supposed to meet us for the fishing trip was not there, the guy that did meet us though was very courteous and took care of the details for our trip. We got our fishing trip and right after that they drove us back to the same house again – we were not told that ahead of time and that seemed kind of odd. They asked for more money for an extra week of vacation and we said no.

We started having second thought on them and started doing research on the companies – Boutique Travel Leisure, World Travel Leisure, and Black Diamond AZ. They had told us they have been around for years, but nothing at all came up in a Google search for those companies. I did a whois search on the domain names and they had only been registered for a few months each. The Arizona Title Company domain is registered with a Mexico address.

We never got an email confirmation of our purchase as promised, we did not get a confirmation number and when calling the US\Canada Toll-free number we were given, we only get a message that they are not available – in Spanish!

I called our credit card companies and said that I believe these are fraudulent charges and put them in dispute and hopefully they will be stopped and the money returned.

The staff had also told us they had contacted our current timeshare so when we got back we contacted our timeshare company and no, they had not been contacted and that would be a scam.

So now you know the rest of the story. What I need is the names of the people involved with this particular scam, which has used several other names in the past such as Signature Residence Club, Luxury Leisure Collection, Premier Property Management and more.

Folks, BEWARE!

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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 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: http://www.insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2015/06/mexico-timeshare-fraud-june-6-2015/

11 comments

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  1. LessonsLearned... SCAMS from Black Diamond and Costa Marina (Mexico)

    I saw your articles on timeshare frauds, including your article on Black Diamond AZ after I was already having problems closing a timeshare resale but was still hoping for the best… but after not hearing back from either Costa Marina (Tony Lopez) and Black Diamond AZ (Nick Montero), I cancelled the contract but still have not received the prepaid tax refunded nor received any communications…. Please help by alerting the public of their scams. Thanks.

    On June 17, 2015, we entered into a real estate/timeshare resale transaction contract with Costa Marina when we were in Mazatlan on vacation. Costa Marina aggreed to buy out two of my timeshares stating that they wanted to become a Vacation Exchange Company (sililar to RCI and Interval International here in the US) but required us to paid $11,000 a fully-refundable 19% tax, which will be fully refundable at Escrow Closing. As we had a good conversation with the salesrep (Andres Zasueta) and the Regional Director/Partner (Tony Lopez) , we agreed to pay the fully-refundable taxes and assure both Andres and Tony assured us that there won’t be any other charges to conplete the sale of two of our timeshares. Costa Marina required that we used their Escrow Company Black Diamond AZ, and we expected the close of escrow to go smoothly without having to pay/transfer ANY MORE FEES. After over 30+ days of emails and phone calls exchange Black Diamond AZ still hasn’t closed this contract and wired us the full amount as aggreed in the contract and we have yet to receive our $11,000 tax return because we refused to wire over another another $5,680 to an account in Mexico as it was never disclosed until the last minute – 10th hour…. As we did our research on all the parties involved, especially Black Diamond AZ and directly called Banamex in Mexico to confirm the “so-called claimed of 8% required transfer fee on transaction >$80,000” and Banamex told us that there is no such fees and the only bank fee would be a $17 wire fee. In addition, we found out that there are several scam reports on Black Diamond AZ- Mexico Timeshare FRAUD: June 6, 2015: http://insidethegate.com/gatehouse/2015/06/mexico-timeshare-fraud-june-6-2015/
    And, to find out that http://www.blackdiamondaz.com website is actually managed out of Mexico. Another red alert for us.
    We have also called our Riviera timeshare and they have told us that there was no change of title request in the last 30 days. Therefore, if Black Diamond AZ was indeed a “legal, proper, Escrow/Tile Company”, it would have made proper arrangements to check on the title and started the transfer of title application process.

    At the time we signed this contract with Costa Marina (under the name of MS Gastronomia Rest. or Walter Newman) we were optimistic that this timeshare transaction would be beneficial for both – Costa Marina/Black Diamond, trying to become a vacation exchange company, and us the seller. However, Black Diamond AZ (Nick Montero) has not made this easy for us, especially with all the last-minute add-on fees, that were not disclosed at the time of the signed contract. We have already paid the required taxes (~$11,000) at the time the contract was signed on June 17, 2015 and expected the close of escrow to go smoothly without having to pay/transfer ANY MORE FEES. Since Black Diamond is Costa Marina’s chosen escrow company, Tony Lopez agreed to make the proper arrangements required for the closing of this Costa Marina CONTRACT # 90258 to happen as we will not transfer any money requested by Black Diamond (specifically the 8% so-called 100% fully refundable transfer fee of $5,680) but after 2 weeks of silence, we cancelled this contract and requested a full-refund of our $11000 but still have not received any refund nor any responses from either Costa Marina nor Black Diamond. I started a dispute with my credit card company but wanted to file a complaint and let other know of these two fraudulent companies. Thanks.




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    1. LessonsLearned... SCAMS from Black Diamond and Costa Marina (Mexico)

      It’s been 2+ weeks since my last email and conversation w Black Diamond but no answer. I ask for a refund of the $11,000 but nothing. I filed a Visa credit card dispute but want other to know of this scam. Companies involved in this SCAM are: Costa Marina, (credit card charges was interestingly charged to MS Gastronomia Rest), Walter Newman, Black Diamond AZ, Black Diamond Real Estate, Software Webster Solutions. Individuals in contacts are: Tony Lopez (tonymarina01@gmail.com) and Andres Zasuesta (andreszasueta@hotmail.com) with Costa Marina in Mexico, and Nick Montero and Linda Rose with Black Diamond (contact@blackdiamondaz.com). Thanks.




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  2. BUSTED thanks to this website

    Well NAME CALLING is not very helpful to any of us. It’s important to note. Freedom of speech is exactly that, so both sides have a say. Why a person would defend the actions of a pirate is beyond me? Don’t you value your hard earned money? Most of the folks that were approached, did indeed show an interest to sell their time share, but with the help of this website it stopped a lot of us from succumbing to your greedy nature, or more delicately put, the need to make a profit. Either way you say it, the person who gets stung is not better off. Thanks again for even having the tenacity to do the research and post it for those of us who didn’t know how to get to the truth.




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  3. Oy vey

    Allow me to proffer forth that I seem to have stumbled on a convention of bloviators. Enuff already!




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  4. 33 Year TS Professional

    Mr. Whitehead:

    Of course I realize sir that the case is ENTIRELY about your 1st amendment right to free speech! That’s why our great Founders placed it 1st among protected rights of we the people. It is a bedrock foundational principle with which our entire system of governance was formulated upon. My only contention was with the seemingly steady increase in blow-by-blow reporting of each and every legal maneuver of not only your case, but Mexico, T’S Transfer scams etc. You were clearly done wrongly by this outfit, and I wish you great success in your defense of your right to express your (right) opinions about them. I wish you good luck with that as right normally prevails no matter who the other sides lawyer is. I’d just like to hear about it when its over and in the meantime try to acenntuate the positive aspects of our industry and those who work hard every day to provide quality vacations for millions while earning an honest living for our families. Stepping off the soapbox now…

    Aloha sir!




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    1. Albert Whitehead

      “Of course I realize sir that the case is ENTIRELY about your 1st amendment right to free speech!”

      It isn’t just my 1st Amendment rights, it is about the 1st Amendment rights of each and every member (now 2,627) of that Boycott page, or any other individual (such as yourself) who wishes to express their dissent on a public forum. Moreover, it would set a bad precedent if free enterprise could suppress free speech, merely because they don’t like the content of that speech.

      In conclusion, imagine if you could be sued for expressing the dissenting opinion that you rightfully express on the GateHouse! Think about it!




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  5. 33 Year TS Professional

    Gatekeeper: While I have ALWAYS enjoyed your Website, and that of your predecessor The Timeshare Beat… and have spent THOUSANDS of dollars advertising on each site for sales and marketing talent, I must now send this little blog entry to let you know that I feel that the editorial slant towards highlighting the scam or criminal aspect of the small MINORITY of our industry greatly detracts from the far richer history of the companies that have grown and provided us with a great living over these four plus decades. Worse yet, If I were a casual prospective (let alone a current) TS owner who stumbled across this blog I would come away with a massively NEGATIVE impression of our industry and EVERYONE involved in it. While I certainly acknowledge that the very small rouge percentage of our business that preys upon clients in the resale or transfer side deserve to be unmasked, I would humbly proffer forth that a steady diet of it does NOTHING to engender confidence in the legitimate growth or quality of our great product offerings. A CASE IN POINT would be the dozens of blow-by-blow entry’s on the Albert Whitehead V Sundance saga which while tragic, (for he the victim of these scumbag)s gave FAR TOO MUCH INK to this little story of one guy VS one crappy travel club. If I was a consumer thinking of buying a TS and I stumbled across ITG I would quickly leave with the impression that ALL involved in the TS business, and ALL of those associated with it are crooks! As an employer I would also question WHY I would spend my money advertising on said site that seems to highlight the minority of characters that pray upon people with various offerings NOT related to what most all of us sell every day!

    Sorry my friends to have to write this as I sip my morning coffee and head out to work in the land of time…but GOD I miss the good old days when I used to log in on Saturday morning at The Beat and read about the good news and the great new projects and opportunities that lie ahead. I wish to conclude by saying that I do not blame you for this seeming sea-change in reporting as perhaps that is ALL that our once great industry has become.But opinions are formed by what people are exposed to. As I would simply proffer forth that you should consider using your platform to HIGHLIGHT the good…while minimizing the bad apples out there in the blog. Just sayin…




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    1. Albert Whitehead

      @ the 33 Year TS Professional. I wholeheartedly agree, and vehemently defend, your right to dissent and, ironically, your opinion and exception exemplifies that inalienable right.

      Nonetheless, the issue was never about, “one guy VS one crappy travel club.” Rather, the issue is the 1st Amendment and the consumers’ right to publicly voice their personal experiences, however negative, with that “one crappy travel club,” in conjunction with that “one crappy travel club,” attempting to suppress that 1st Amendment right through SLAPP litigation!

      In the final analysis, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire




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    2. Rex

      I agree with 33 Year TS Professional which is why I no longer watch my local TV, Radio and newspaper coverage. Why just two weeks ago they were all talking about a cop gone bad, a Priest doing wrong to children, a city Politician caught with her hand in the cookie jar and a judge who filed a frivolous lawsuit because a local paint shop didn’t get the color exactly right when they repainted his car.

      All this negative reporting is surely going to prevent people from moving here and (e.g.) starting a business, paying taxes, raising their children, going to church and I’ll not be any part of tarnishing my wonderful city.




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    3. BUSTED thanks to this website

      Without a huge story, my husband and I were about to enter the twilight zone, and celebrate an extraordinary wind fall of new found money from our Timeshare Weeks in the Mayan Riviera. At the last minute, same story that we have read about here, Lakeside Escrow wanted money for the Mexican Government.

      Now how laughable is that? We should have smelled a rat much sooner since the first contact to us was from the famous Joe Gonsalez at Fairmount Equity Group. How they got our name was a mystery, but needless to say someone or some people are selling the membership lists to these scammers.

      The real truth is: We believed we could quadruple our initial investment, and that’s a morale and ridiculous notion to think we deserved it. My husband and I have lived with this ongoing carefully orchestrated scam for over a month. The thought was, why would they spend so much time on this. Surely their 2% commission of the sale wasn’t worth all the time spent?

      But that’s just it. It was. It’s a numbers game, the more you hook the more the chance of someone biting. AND most importantly that $5,000 and change would never see its’ way to the Government of Mexico. So our offer of $34,000 @ 10% = $680.00 + $5,000 and change U.S. Pretty much works out to the price we paid back in 2008 for our weeks.

      At one point we thought maybe this is a pyramid and we are at the top of it. We always had a gnawing sensation that there was something that was going to hit us over the head. I started to Google Timeshare and for some unknown but grateful reason, I found this blog. I screamed to my husband, OMG, we have the same guys being talked about on this Timeshare Blog. So what did we do? Never picked up another phone call from them. Guess they got off pretty easy. I’m still debating if I want to report them, but to who? Who in Canada wants to deal with this mess. If we can help anyone it should be to send a letter to the chain where we bought our timeshare and implore them to start sending cautionary emails to their members. All we get are new discount fliers and more real estate to visit in the chain. They might do better with their loyalty aspect of membership if they started protecting the members they have.

      I feel much better now, that I have released our anxiety over the FOUND AND LOST MONEY SCAM.




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