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Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

Seattle
posts: 28
reviews: 3
Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

There's a fairly fresh scam that involves several "front" companies (presumably all in Mexico) working together to defraud consumers. They prey on American travelers vacationing in such places as Cabo San Lucas, telling them they can sell their timeshare for them at an impressively high amount. To gain credibility, they claim to be part of the Sabre Travel Network (which they are not) and say that this company is willing to purchase timeshares and then use the cost for tax write-off purposes.

The wrinkle is that you need to buy a membership to a phony travel club, which allegedly allows you to stay at five- and six-star properties at highly discounted rates. Membership to this club costs $2000, plus financing fees and bank fees for foreign currency conversation on credit card charges.

They claim that you will receive payment for your timeshare within 60-90 days. But that never happens. Instead, one of the front companies insists that you must pay $700 for a title search, while another front company (claiming to handle the escrow) demands that you wire $875 in closing costs to Mexico. Then -- they demand another $800+, claiming that the bank in Mexico won't allow a wire transfer in excess of X amount of money -- and that to get your money, you have to pay attorneys' fees.

Throughout all this, there are lots of demands for documentation to prove you (the consumer) are who you say you are, but everything about them is a lie.

Here are the so-called "companies" involved:

Essential Resorts (which is allegedly a vacation property procurement company) is run by a guy who calls himself Julian Rosenthal. His colleague is Cindy Watts. This company is not licensed in the state of FL.

The Miami address they list on their web site is actually a 900 sf condo property that's zoned for commercial use.

http://www.essentialresortsltd.com

Grand Weeks/Servicios Vacacionales. Servicios Vacacionales is ostensibly in San Diego, but it's run by Raul Mendez (possibly his real name), who works his fraud from a restaurant on the marina in Cabo San Lucas.

They are not licensed in the state of CA and the office address they use is in reality only a P.O. box. Their slick marketing materials make big promises, but their service is useless. They have two web sites, one of which is now shut down.

http://www.grandweeks.com

http://www.grandweeksvip.com

Financial Services International (so-called escrow company)

http://www.financialservices-int.com

They are not licensed in the state of Texas, and are not tenants in the San Antonio, Texas building listed on their web site. Instead they seem to be running their scam from a boiler room in Mexico. Key players call themselves James Hoffman, Tony Rogers, and Frank Rivers.

All of these web sites were established last fall. It's quite possible that they were doing business under different names before, and very likely that they will all create new names and web sites again.

Consumers beware.

165 replies to this topic
Newport Beach...
posts: 2
101. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

CABO SCAM GRAND WEEKS SIGNATURE RESIDENCE CLUB

HELP-I have a totally impossible situation-we meet at the restaurant office in CABO -listened to the pitch supplied our ID and CREDIT card and LEFT !!! We did not sign or agree to anything BUT our card was charged $11400

I went back to the "office" and besides insisting on a reversal- I aslo presented a letter of recission just to be sure

The letter was accepted and a very nice letter was typed and signed and given to me

NO PROBLEM!!!

MY credit card CITI CARD has refused to reverse the charges and I quote'WE CANNOT ENFORCE MEXICAN LAW-WE NEED PROOF THAT SIGNATURE RESIDENCE CLUB AND GRAND WEEKS ARE SOMEHOW TIED TOGETHER " You can imagine my dismay

WE DIDNOT sign any documents DOES anyone have any paper work- docs- cards- letterhead ETC that ties these to togethe

PLEASe if you do contact me

JOHN BRAWLEY j_brawley@sbcglobal.net 714 746 7071

Toronto, Canada
posts: 44
reviews: 11
102. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

Oh Boy. Looks as though CITIbank is passing the buck. Please get yourself an International Lawyer who can give you a free quote (some do). Might be better to loose a few hundred more than to loose the entire amount. These Mexican Timeshare operators are getting craftier all the time.

Try your bank again, tell them you want to file a complaint and have these charges reversed as nothing has your signiture on it. File a grevience with PROFECO, in Mexico, and don't forget to file a complaint with your States Attorney's Office, The FBI, The Mexican Consulate (here and abroad) The Consumer Protection Board (against Citibank and the Timeshare Operators, the new Ambassador for Mexican Tourism and last but not least, copy and paste a letter of complaint to every Judiciary in the state where this crime took place.

Sorry for your situation as we know how you feel. We were in the same situation and have been fighting this for over a year now. Don't give up is all l have to say as these crooks are banking on that because they know it is an arduous journey. Good luck and let me know how you make out.

Jenny

fjenny16@yahoo.com

Toronto, Canada
posts: 44
reviews: 11
103. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

WHERE TO FILE COMPLAINTS

Timeshare User Group (TUG) – post description of your experience under Buying, Selling, Renting

tugbbs.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13

Profeco (Mexican consumer protection agency)

http://revistadelconsumidor.gob.mx/?p=7731

Ripoff Report - add to this report:

ripoffreport.com/travel-services/essential-r…

Internet Crime Complaint Center

http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection

https:/…

Paypal - report fraudulent seller (Essential Resorts)

https:/…

State Attorneys General (there are complaint forms on each state’s site)

www.naag.org/current-attorneys-general.php

Better Business Bureau (file complaints for Miami, San Diego, and San Antonio)

https:/…get-started

Florida Division of Consumer Services

https:/…FileComplaint.aspx

State of Florida Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

Bureau of Compliance - Timeshare Section

Complete this form and snail mail with supporting documentation:

myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/documents/comp…

Miami-Dade County Consumer Protection Office (re Essential Resorts)

co.miami-dade.fl.us/csd/complaint_form.asp

Miami-Dade Police Department (re Essential Resorts)

Call the Economic Crimes Bureau: 305-994-1000 (M-F 8A-5P EST)

Web site: http://www.miamidade.gov/mdpd/

Orlando Police Dept.- Timeshare Crimes investigation

www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165128

Investigating detectives, Michael Stevens and Hilary Bledsoe

email: michael.stevens@cityoforlando.net, hilary.bledsoe@cityoforlandonet

San Diego Police Dept.

sandiego.gov/police/…startaccess.html

San Antonio Police Dept.

http://www.sanantonio.gov/sapd/

email: carla.Zainie@sanantonio.gov

U.S. Secret Service - field office phone #s by state (pg. 26):

www.secretservice.gov/press/Take_Charge.pdf

HSBC – if you have received counterfeit HSBC documents, such as a wire transfer receipt from Financial Services

email: usphishing@us.hsbc.com

Also contact media:

Jackie Callaway, Tampa Bay ABC station consumer action reporter

abcactionnews.com/dpp/…Jackie-Callaway

email: jcallaway@abcactionnews.com

And email your local ABC, NBC, and CBS TV consumer rights reporters.

Will Hobson, reporter for Tampa Bay Times

email: whobson@tampabay.com

Pittsburgh, PA
posts: 7
104. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

You may want to add the following to your list. Recently scammed by them:

Continental Property Solutions: Bill Hastings, Nick Diaz, Andy Sims (attorney)

Concord International Title Co: Miranda Vega, Wendy Estrada, Michael Strathman

Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 1
105. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

They are now calling themselves Event World International LTD. They are now saying their company is out of Kennesaw,Georgia Using the name Jordan Steinberg. We just wired them $5,800 in April and they used the HSBC as their escrow co. They emailed us today saying they need more money so we started researching HSBC and saw your post. Thank you for all your links on how to report them.

PLEASE consumers beware !!!

Mexico City, Mexico
posts: 2
reviews: 1
106. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

we have info from a scam group working out of jalisco mexico ,,they are verry big in the game ... we can help you getting them.wei have there adresses and all you need.

Pittsburgh, PA
posts: 7
107. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

Rosario:

Please help in any way you can. I have seen other postings on other sites that report timeshare scams that say the jalisco based persons are know but when I've asked for a response, there is none. From reading recent posts, it looks like the same bunch that defrauded me and that they change their story and methods a little for each new scam. I have had no help from Profeco-they suggest contacting a Mexican Lawyer. I contacted the American Embassy in Jalisco and was given the same advice. They directed me to a website listing some lawyers and I contacted one but no response> Who can one trust?

Edited: 1:28 pm, May 22, 2013
108. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

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109. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

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Removed on: 12:24 pm, November 07, 2013
 
Illinois
posts: 40
reviews: 5
110. Re: Timeshare resale scam in Mexico

I just got scammed today 7/27/13

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