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Idle Timeshare Thoughts: Sept. 16, 2017

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse
QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” –Winston Churchill



I regularly get questions from victims of timeshare-related scams asking how the scammers got their names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. I also regularly get emails from various sources asking if I want to purchase a list of specific types of people.

Here is an example that I received very recently:

Subject: Time-share Owners Email List
From: Christopher Hurst < christopherh@ xxxxxxxxxxxx.com >
To: gatekeeper @ insidethegate.com
CC:

Hi,

Would you be interested in acquiring an email list of “Time-share Owners” from USA?

We also have data for Home Owners, Real Estate Investors, Spa and Resort visitors, RV Owners, Travelers, Wine Enthusiasts, Fishing Enthusiasts, Scuba Divers, Golfers, Condominium Owners, Mortgage Holders List and many more.

Each record in the list contains Contact Name (First and Last Name), Mailing Address, List type and Opt-in email address.

Please let me know your thoughts towards procuring the Time-share Owners List.

Best Regards,
Christopher Hurst

So where did “Christopher Hurst” obtain the list? Though I know of one case where the sales room discarded its information in its dumpster where it was promptly retrieved by someone setting up a timeshare transfer company, that is probably not the most common method. And of course since deeded weeks are public information, names can be retrieved from public documents free for nothing, but that’s a much more laborious effort. And of course there are all those names people drop into boxes hoping to win a car or something; who protects those names acquired by marketing personnel in some mall?

In most cases the names were probably originally procured from the resorts/sales rooms themselves either by direct theft or by paying off some clerk who has access to them.

Often the original lists are added to over time as they are sold and resold on what is essentially a blackmarket of timeshare owners’ information. When they’re fresh they’re worth quite a bit of money but as they makes their way down the line, being used over and over again, the names become “penny leads” – the bane of telemarketers and a major annoyance for consumers.

Those folks who fall for the scammers’ fraud (resale fraud, recovery fraud, transfer fraud, etc) often find their names saved to a “suckers list”, the point being that if they’ve been scammed once they’re open to being scammed again.

Don’t be a sucker.

And while I’m at it, you should demand that timeshare resorts and their developers take stronger steps to protect your private information.

Just sayin’…

I wonder if Christopher Hurst’s lists are “warm” or worthless? Hmmmm



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1 comment

  1. lisa

    So true. I’m sick of hearing from people within the industry falling back on the ‘its public record’ excuse. We all know these lists originate from the resort.




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