Our top priority at UVCI is to protect you, your membership and your investment. The COVID-19 pandemic is currently a global crisis and, unfortunately, scam artists are trying to use this crisis to take advantage of others. Don’t fall victim to a scammer. Their tactics can be circumvented with good judgement and informed awareness. Below are some educational resources directly from our industry partners and legal department along with some helpful tips on how to protect your valuable investment and identify a possible scammer.
How can I be sure that I have been contacted by a Scam Artist?
Scam artists are experts at what they do. They know how to talk like a professional, negotiate business like a professional, and they steal money from you like a professional. It’s sometimes very difficult for you to know if the person on the end of the line is legitimate or not. Sometimes the scammer will even provide you with a legitimate company name that you can look up on the internet. Trust your gut instinct. If the deal they’re offering seems too good to be true, then it probably is. They may have sent you an email presenting some kind of attractive offer to rent or sell your timeshare. Many scammers use the technique of calling you up, posing as someone who works for our organization or a resort. In this instance, ask specific questions. Dig for detail. Usually, the only information they provide is a name and telephone number. Use discretion and be wary of any cold calls. Never reveal too much information. If in doubt, hang up the phone and call us.
Please note the following:
- Our organization will never contact you to rent out your timeshare.
- Our organization will never contact you to sell your timeshare.
- Our organization will never sell or share your personal information. Your personal information is safely encrypted on our systems and is only accessible by authorized personnel.
- Our organization will never contact you to demand “Mexican Taxes” or other suspicious and hard-to-verify fees.
- UVCI and the Villa Group places paramount importance on the security and safety of our member’s personal information, and we securely protect your information from outside companies.
Common Scammer Tactics:
Most scam artists operate in the same way and exert the same tactics. We have managed to identify and expose the most common scammer tactics:
- The scammer will offer you a “guaranteed” way to exit your membership.
- If you agree to rent or sell your timeshare, they will ask for an upfront fee.
- Commonly, the scammer will call and email you multiple times until you respond.
- The scammer may claim to be calling from the resort or a “resort partner”. They may also offer to “work with the resort” on your behalf.
- Scammers may ask you to confirm your personal account information early on in the conversation.
- “The $799 Scam:” Scammers have been asking members to pay $799 (or $14,500) to rent out their timeshare.
- The scammer may create a sense of urgency for you to make a decision and mention an upcoming big event, such as a fishing tournament, and will insist that this is the perfect time to rent out your property since the city will be full of tourists who need accommodation.
Below are some warning signs that a phone call you received may be from a scammer:
- You, your family or anyone associated with your membership keeps receiving unrequested phone calls, emails or texts from charity fundraisers, especially following a disaster. Please note that our trusted and verified charity Eagle’s Wings Foundation will never contact you via phone call to request support or money. We will only send you easily verifiable communication and if at any point you suspect suspicious activity when you are contacted, please do not hesitate to contact our Member Service Agents at email@example.com or via phone at 1-800-852-4755.
- You are receiving unsolicited phone calls from people offering to buy or resell your timeshare with terms that sound too good to be true. Be aware that scam artists often jazz up their offers by including free product trials, cheap travel packages, cash prizes, medical devices, pre-approved loans, debt reduction, and low-risk, high-return investments.
- You are receiving unrequested calls from people claiming to work for a public utility, government agency, or major tech firm (for example, Apple). These institutions and companies will very rarely call you first unless you requested the call or needed their services.
- If you receive an automated and unsolicited sales call from a company that you did not authorize to contact you, please be assured that this is most certainly a scam and is an illegal robocall. Automated robocalls are permitted for some non-commercial purposes, such as a political campaigns or nonprofit groups. This is a tactic to obtain your personal information. Please use discretion and caution.
What should I do if I believe I have been contacted by a scam artist?
If you are worried that you have been contacted by a scam artist or company, you should first investigate the company contacting you. The most effective way of doing this is to look them up online. You can do this by entering the company name, the name of the person who contacted you, and any credible information that you may have into the search engine. If they have contacted you by email then you can discover if the email is a scam by using Whois, an internet domain search company, to run a search of any suspicious domain. Click here (link to https://myuvci.com/blog/scam-update-3/) to read a full blog post on how to investigate scammers and what to look for.
While on the phone you should try to get as much detail as you can about the person calling and the company. You can achieve this by asking questions. The more intrusive the question, the more you’re going to establish if they’re a fraud or not. Save all emails and correspondence and write down the time, date and phone number of any calls that you receive. We suggest to not forward any suspicious emails on in order to avoid spreading viruses. Lastly, and most importantly, when the scammer tries to pry and begins asking questions about your membership and investment, do not offer up any information. Do not provide the caller with your bank details or credit card and do not send over money even if they begin applying pressure.
To stop contact between you and the scammer and to feel more secure and safe, you can file a report with a law enforcement agency. The more information you can provide the agency, the better. Law enforcement will not allow us to file a claim on your behalf but we can help you organize your details.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will gather the information and details of the potential scam and send you a letter acknowledging your call. We may ask you to forward us some of the emails that you received as evidence if we deem it safe and appropriate to do so.
If you are certain you have received a call from a scam artist, ask the caller to remove you from the contact list immediately and hang up the phone.
Another way to protect yourself is to consult lists of known scam artists. ARDA offers a helpful library of fraud and scam articles which is regularly updated.
Below are some of the most popular scam numbers, companies, and e-mails addresses that our members have provided. Please remember to CONTACT RESORTCOM immediately should you come in contact with any of these:
Known Scam Companies
- Acquisition Strategies, LLC
- ADS Realty, LLC.
- Advanced Travel
- Bed Bookers
- Business Strategies, LLC
- Center Trip Advisors
- C Trip Corporation, CTRIP Travel Corporation
- CCW Holdings
- Continental Mergers and Avocations
- Corporate Event Solutions
- Evergreen Investments
- Foxworth Marketing Co.
- Global Alpha Capital
- International Real Estate Investment
- Jacobs Adams Law Firm
- Law offices of Steven Haligas
- M&T Property Management
- Magnum Realty Group
- Network Brokerage Corporate
- Network Brokerage Corporation
- One Hundred Percent Escrow, LLC.
- R-5, R-5 Realty
- Resort Equity Marketing
- Resort Timeshare Resales, Inc.
- Thomas Geantil Real State
- Travel Start Mexico
- Vacation Property Marketing
- Westwood Realty
- Zeecaso, Zicasso Travel
Known Scam Websites
Known Scam Numbers
Known Scam E-mail Addresses
How do I make a complaint regarding a scam artist?
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission, Business Fraud Division by calling 1-877-382-4357 or file a complaint online on their website.
- Report your experience to your state’s Attorney General’s Office. Search for the agency on the internet by typing in, for example, “Nevada Attorney General’s Office.” Usually, the “Complaint” link is one of the first you will notice.
- You can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) who are particularly sensitive to scams against consumers. They fight very hard in order to achieve justice.
We truly hope that the above information helped you and has made you feel more secure in protecting your membership and investment. If you have any further questions, please contact us at email@example.com and we will assist you further. Together, with law enforcement, we can fight back against these crimes and protect our industry and continue doing what we love to do – vacationing!
Your UVC International Team