2021 Scam Update
Dear Valued Member,
As you may have already heard, scams have been on the rise, especially since the onset of Covid-19. The unfortunate truth is many people are going through difficult times financially, emotionally, or otherwise. Now more than ever, scammers are looking to take advantage of the desperate, uninformed, innocent, and unsuspecting by contacting them via phone and/or email to offer “too good to be true” offers to “rent,” “buy,” or “sell” their vacation ownership(s).
These scam artists are experts, they research you, and they are very deceitful. We can assure you, UVCI and the Villa Group will never contact you to sell, rent, or buy your vacation ownership, so if you are being contacted about this, someone is trying to scam you!
Below we share some very important tips and advice that will help you and your loved ones protect yourself from falling victim to a scam. Please thoroughly read through and save this information for your records! Refer to this article regularly, stay vigilant, and please help us help you remain safe from scams and fraud.
How do scammers get my personal information?
Universal Vacation Club International and the Villa Group place paramount importance on the safety and security of our members’ personal information. At all times, we protect and secure your information from outside companies. Always remember, WE DO NOT SELL YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION. Our group has operated for more than 35 years, we have not been bought or taken over by any other company, and we will always work hard to safeguard and protect your private information.
IMPORTANT: Please, always keep in mind that throughout the history of the Internet and its inception, many of the social media platforms or websites you have visited, store, and/or are able to attain and store user’s private information through cookies, your computer browsing history, and other measures. Your phone number, address, email address, and much of the personal information you have shared with other companies in the past (ex: utility companies, phone companies, credit bureaus, Department of Motor Vehicles, state, local, and government agencies, etc.) is often already available on the Internet, simply do a Google search on yourself to see.
How do I know when a scam artist is contacting me?
Trust your gut—if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scam artists are experts at what they do, and you may be confused about the legitimacy of the person on the end of the line. So, when in doubt, use caution.
REMEMBER: Callers will often pose as a representative of our UVCI organization or as someone calling on behalf of Villa Group or a Villa Group (Garza Blanca or Tafer) resort. Do your due diligence! Ask questions! Never ever send money! We WILL NOT call you to buy, rent, or sell your vacation ownership!
Is it ever safe to send money?
No. Please never ever send money to anyone over the phone or via email.
What can I do to limit the number of scam calls I receive?
- Do not answer calls from numbers you do not know. Allow the calls to go to voicemail. If it is an important call or a call from someone you know that person will more than likely leave a voicemail.
- Block callers you do not know. If you are getting calls from people you do not know or people you do not know (scammers) are leaving you voicemails. Block their phone number immediately.
Who can I report a scam to?
- FBI – Internet Crime Complaint Center: https://www.ic3.gov/
- Federal Trade Commission: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
- International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network: https://www.econsumer.gov/en
- Lastly, contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com to file a scam intake and report the scam.
What are some warning signs of a scam?
- You are receiving phone calls from people trying to sell you products or services with terms that sound too good to be true or offering to purchase or resell your vacation ownership with terms that are too good to be true.
- You are receiving unsolicited calls from people claiming to work for a government agency.
- If you receive an automated sales call from a company, you have not authorized to contact you at any point.
What are some of the most common scam tactics scammers use?
- The scammer will offer you a “guaranteed” way to exit your membership.
- You may be asked to pay an upfront fee to either rent or sell your vacation ownership.
- Multiple calls and emails per day are not uncommon.
- The scammer may offer to “work with” the resort on your behalf. The scammer may even claim to be calling from the resort or a “resort partner.” We have had scammers claim to be the Mexican government!
- Scammers may ask you to share or confirm your account information before continuing with the conversation.
- “The $799 Scam:” Scammers have been asking members to pay $799 (or $14,500) to rent out their vacation ownership.
- Another common tactic is for scammers to tell members that a city-wide event, such as a fishing tournament, is occurring during a specific date. The scammer creates a sense of urgency and will insist that it is the perfect time to rent out the property since the city will be packed with tourists.
What should I do if I believe I have been contacted by a scam artist?
- Investigate the company contacting you. If you are concerned that a company may be a part of a scam operation, you should always look them up online. You can do this by entering their name, company name, and contact information into a credible search engine. Lastly, you can verify if the email address that is contacting is a part of a scam by using Whois, an internet domain search company, to run a search of any suspicious domain. Click here to read a full blog post on how to investigate scammers and what to look for.
- Keep the person on the line and get as many details as possible about the organization. Save all correspondence and emails and write down the time, date, and phone number of any calls you receive. Do not forward any suspicious emails in order to avoid spreading viruses. And of course, when the scammer asks, do not offer up any information about your membership. Do not give the caller your bank account number, credit card, or wire money if a deal seems too good to be true.
- 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 (which makes sense), but we can help you organize your details.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we feel they are safe to forward, we may ask you to send us any emails you have received from the scammer. In the meantime, we will gather the details of the potential scam and send you a letter acknowledging your call.
- Tell the questionable caller to remove you from the contact list immediately and hang up.
What are some known scam companies?
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 Vacation Ownership Resales, Inc.
- Thomas Geantil Real State
- Travel Start Mexico
- Vacation Property Marketing
- Westwood Realty
- Zeecaso, Zicasso Travel
- S+P Vacations
- Limited Equity Properties
- Woodland Properties
- International Consulting Services, LLC.
- Juridico Sanchez y Asociados
- Travel Marketing Associates, Inc.
- Capital Escrow Services
- Montenegro Abogados & Gestoría Corporativa
- Kiwi Mexico
- Alliance Closing Services
- Travelmore, LLC.
- ACF Property Management
- The Travel Desk, Inc.
- Business Financial Solutions, LLC.
- Mexico Trade Network Group in New Mexico
- International Consulting Services
- Anderson Law Firm
- Todd Stuart Alper
Known Scam Websites
Known Scam Numbers
- Typically, any “Scam Likely” Calls and Number(s)
Known Scam E-mail Addresses
We encourage you to be proactive when it comes to protecting your information. Always use your intuition, never send money, and when something does not seem right, be sure to ask questions and investigate! Lastly, always remember that as a valued member, we are here to serve you. Please, do not hesitate to reach out to us if you ever have any questions or concerns, and we will gladly help you. Your peace of mind and safety is our purpose!
We hope the information above helped answer all your questions, but if not, contact us at email@example.com and we will assist you. Together with law enforcement, we can fight these scammers and protect our industry.
Your UVC International Team