UVCI’s top priority is to protect you, your membership and your investment. Unfortunately, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, fraudulent opportunities have arisen for scam artists to take advantage of. Make sure you protect yourself by being aware and exercising good judgement, so that you do not fall for one of their unscrupulous schemes. Below are some helpful tips on how to identify, avoid and report a scam, along with educational resources directly from ARDA, our industry partner.
How can I be sure that I have been contacted by a Scam Artist?
Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult to know whether the person on the other end of the phone is a scammer or not. They are experts at what they do and they know how to approach you like a professional. You should always trust your gut instinct. If they are offering you a deal that seems too good to be true, chances are that it is. They may try contacting you via email to ask you to rent or sell your timeshare and present an attractive offer. Another tactic they use is to call you and pose as someone who works for our organization or a resort. Usually, the only information they provide is their name and telephone number. Applying caution and prudence is an important factor in avoiding scammers. Don’t reveal any information until you are certain the person you are talking to is legitimate and if in doubt, hang up the phone and call us.
Please note the following:
- Our organization will never contact you to sell your timeshare.
- Our organization will never contact you to rent out your timeshare.
- Our organization will never contact you to demand “Mexican Taxes” or other suspicious and hard-to-verify fees.
- 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.
- UVCI and Tafer Resorts 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 identified the most common tactics used, and are the following:
- They will ask you for an upfront fee if you agree to rent or sell your timeshare.
- The scammer will offer you a “guaranteed” way to exit your membership.
- It is common practice for the scammer to call and email you numerous times until you respond.
- The scammer may claim to be calling from the resort or be a “resort partner”. They may offer to “work with the resort” on your behalf to “help you”.
- Scammers may ask you to confirm your personal account information continuing with 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 in order to push you into making a fast decision. They may tell you that a big event, such as a fishing tournament, is happening on a specific date and insist that it is the perfect opportunity to rent out your property since the city will be packed with tourists.
Below are some warning signs that a phone call you received may be from a scammer:
- One sign may be that you, your loved ones or anyone associated with your membership continuously receive unsolicited calls, texts or emails 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 suggest suspicious activity when you are contacted, please do not hesitate to contact our Member Service Agents at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 1-800-852-4755.
- You are receiving unrequested phone calls from companies offering to buy or resell your timeshare with terms that sound too good to be true. Be aware that scam artists often try to make their offer too attractive to decline by including free product trials, cash prizes, cheap travel packages, medical devices, debt reduction, pre-approved loans, and low-risk, high-return investments.
- You are receiving unsolicited calls from people claiming to work for a government agency, public utility, or major tech firm (for example, Microsoft or 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 sales call from a company that you did not ask to contact you, this is most certainly a scam and is an illegal robocall. Automated robocalls are only permitted for some non-commercial purposes, such as a political campaign or a non-profit charity. 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 think you have been contacted by a scam artist, you should try to investigate the company and person contacting you. The most effective way of doing this is by researching any credible information that you have gotten from them online. For example, entering the company name and the name of the person contacting you into a search engine. If they have contacted you by email, you can use Whois to see if the email is fraudulent. Whois is an internet domain search company, that will run a search of the suspicious email and look for any dubious 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.
If the scam artist has contacted you by phone, you should try to gain as much information as you can about the person calling while you have them on the phone. You can do this by asking questions. Dig for detail. The more questions you ask, the more you will establish if they are a scammer or not. Save all emails and correspondence and write down the time, date and phone number of any calls that you receive. We suggest not to forward any suspicious emails on unless you are required to. This is to avoid spreading potential viruses. Lastly, and most importantly, when the scammer starts asking questions regarding your membership and investment, please do not offer up any information. Do not provide the caller with your bank or credit card details and certainly do not wire over money to them if they ask.
To stop contact between you and the scammer, 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 email@example.com. We will gather the information and details of the potential scam and send you a letter of acknowledgement. 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 fraudster, 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 resourceful library of fraud and scam articles that you can refer too. The library is regularly updated and it provides details of both scammers who are under suspicion and some who may have had legal action taken against them:
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 be contacted by or receive communication from any of the following:
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?
- 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.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission, Business Fraud Division by calling 1-877-382-4357 or visit their website to file a complaint online.
- You can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) who are particularly sensitive to scams against consumers. They work very hard in order to receive justice and make you feel safe and secure.
We hope that you found the above information helpful and that it will assist you in protecting yourself, your membership and your investment from potential scams. If you have any further questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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