How Can I Be Sure I Have Been Contacted By A Scam Artist?
The unfortunate truth is that you cannot always know for sure—it’s confusing to know who is on the other end of the phone. 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. You may wonder who sent you the email offering to rent out your vacation ownership. Sometimes the criminal will provide you with a company name that seems legitimate and that you can look up on the internet. Other times the company may pose as our organization or a resort, or say they are calling “on behalf of” us. And most commonly, you may get no information except a name and a telephone number.
Please note the following:
- Our organization will never contact you to sell your vacation ownership.
- Our organization will never contact you to rent out your vacation ownership.
- 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 information is safely encrypted on our systems and only accessible to a few, authorized personnel.
UVCI and the Villa Group places paramount importance on the safety and security of our members’ personal information. At all times we protect and secure your information from outside companies.
Common Scammer Tactics:
- The scammer will offer you a “guaranteed” way to exit your membership.
- You may be asked to pay an upfront fee to either rent your vacation ownership 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’ve 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 .
- 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.
Here are a few warning signs that a phone call or communication that you receive may be a scam.
- You or your loved ones or anyone associated with your membership is receiving unsolicited phone calls (emails or texts) from charity fundraisers, especially after disasters. Please note our trusted and verified Eagle’s Wings Foundation gives back to underserved communities during times of need. They will never contact you via phone call to request money or support. 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 email@example.com or via phone at 1-800-852-4755.
- 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. Please be aware that common scams offers include free product trials, cash prizes, cheap travel packages, medical devices, pre-approved loans, debt reduction, 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 (companies like Microsoft or Apple). These companies and institutions will rarely call you unless they have first communicated by other means or you have contacted them.
- If you receive an automated sales call from a company you have not authorized to contact you at any point, please be advised that this is an illegal robocall and almost certainly a scam. Automated calls are permitted for some informational or non-commercial purposes — for example, from political campaigns or nonprofit groups.
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. Don’t forward any suspicious emails in order to avoid spreading viruses. And of course, when the scammer asks, don’t offer up any information about your membership. Don’t 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.
- Consult lists of known scam artists. ARDA offers a helpful library of fraud and scam articles which is regularly updated. Some recent scammers under suspicion, many of whom have had legal action against them include, are below.
To help you here are some of the most popular scam numbers, companies and e-mails addresses our members have provided to us… CONTACT RESORTCOM Immediately should you come in touch with any of these, we will help!
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
Known Scam Websites
Known Scam Numbers
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 by clicking here.
- 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 may not be familiar with this new agency, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is particularly sensitive to scams against consumers and aggressive in its pursuit of scammers. File a complaint here.
We hope the items 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