Timeshare owners warned over new scam

Timeshare owners are being warned over a fresh scam
Timeshare owners are being warned over a fresh scam
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Callous con artists are targeting people who have already been a victim of timeshare fraud to steal more of their cash, Action Fraud is warning.

Across the UK, victims of “timeshare recovery fraud” reported losing a total of more than £7m between January and July 2018 - and the average loss was £14,000. Those targeted tend to be aged 50-plus.

Action Fraud said reports show that fraudsters are taking advantage of previous fraudulent or mis-sold timeshare schemes and are advising victims who have invested in timeshares abroad that they are owed compensation.

It warned conmen may be aware of the victim’s personal details from their previous investment, giving them false credibility.

Those targeted are told that they need to pay a fee of between £2,00 to £9,000 to obtain this money. Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: “A shocking amount of timeshare recovery fraud losses have been reported.”

Action Fraud said reports show that fraudsters are taking advantage of previous fraudulent or mis-sold timeshare schemes and are advising victims who have invested in timeshares abroad that they are owed compensation.

It warned fraudsters may be aware of the victim's personal details from their previous investment, giving them false credibility.

The fraudsters claim in phone calls or letters to be from reputable authorities.

They say that people can claim money back from their timeshare or exit it early for a fee. This can range from £2,500 to £9,000 and additional fees may also requested to cover maintenance or legal cover. Once the fraudster has the cash, they cut off contact.Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: "A shocking amount of timeshare recovery fraud losses have been reported to Action Fraud since January, which is why we are urging people to be extremely cautious.

"Fraudsters are luring people in with attractive offers of compensation or an early exit on a holiday property, only to then stop all contact once the victim has paid an advance fee."

She continued: "Callous fraudsters will often attempt to defraud people who have already fallen victim to fraud by offering to return what they have lost...

"If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please report it us."

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel association Abta, said: "Travel related fraud is always distressing for the victim but this particular fraud is one of the worst due to the repeat nature of the crime and the very high amounts of money that are lost, running into tens of thousands of pounds.

"We would advise people to be extremely wary of any company cold calling you out of the blue to talk about your timeshare and asking for payment. "Travel related fraud often involves someone pretending to be a legitimate company when they actually turn out to be fake - so it's important you check you are dealing with a reputable business before making any commitment."