RCMP issue warning about Mexico time-share scam

Red Deer RCMP are warning about a scam that targets people who are trying to sell their time-shares in Mexico.

Red Deer RCMP are warning about a scam that targets people who are trying to sell their time-shares in Mexico.

In the most recent Red Deer incident, which was reported on April 21, the scammer impersonated an actual lawyer from the United States. The victim was defrauded of thousands of dollars.

Police say scammers approach the seller with promises that they have a buyer, or that they can help the seller to find one.

The scammers generally claim to represent a business, and may have a second person call the victim, pretending to be a lawyer for that business.

Victims are asked for up-front fees to cover closing costs, taxes, maintenance and other fees.

Unfortunately, the scam originates in Mexico, and once the victim’s money has been transferred out of the country, there is little RCMP can do to pursue the scammers.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre advises sellers of time shares to be suspicious of any organization that:

l Contacts you without an invitation, for example by cold calling.

l Asks you for any kind of up-front payment, for example a deposit or administration fee: a legitimate broker will not cold call you or charge an upfront fee.

l Says they have a buyer waiting to buy your timeshare.

l Asks you to send them your Ownership Certificate.

l Puts a lot of pressure on you to make a decision quickly.

l Asks for your credit card details but tells you they won’t take any payment.

l Asks for any personal information, for example your bank details or address.

l Has a 1-900 prefix — legitimate companies will have a 1-800 number.

If you are thinking of using the services of a time-share resale company, check the Better Business Bureau website at www.bbb.org for any complaints that may have been registered against the company. Do not do business with the company if there are grievances filed against it.

Search online to find out more about the company you’re dealing with. Time-share owners who have previously been scammed will often post their experiences and warnings about scammers online.

The best protection from scammers is to learn how to resist being pushed into a decision regardless of how persuasive or aggressive the scammer may be. Arm yourself and the vulnerable people in your life by learning how to recognize and protect yourself from fraud: www.antifraudcentre.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Meghan Huizing has been selected by Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools as a finalist for the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) 2021 Edwin Parr Award. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Regional Catholic Schools)
Red Deer Catholic names finalist for Edwin Parr Award

Meghan Huizing from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds has… Continue reading

GrammaLink-Africa members are participating in the Stride to Turn the Tide campaign until June 30. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer group walking to raise money for African grandmothers

A group of central Albertans will be walking every day until the… Continue reading

Westerner Days could be in line to have patrons in attendance this summer as the province teased reducing COVID-19 capacity limits on outdoor events. File photo by ADVOCATE staff
Province provides hope for attendance at summer events

The province has given a positive update to organizations that hold summer… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Downtown Iqaluit, Nunavut, is shown after 2 p.m. sunset on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Nunavut has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 in Iqaluit after 12 new cases were reported overnight. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter
COVID-19 outbreak declared in Iqaluit as infection numbers rise after first case

COVID-19 outbreak declared in Iqaluit as infection numbers rise after first case

Three vials of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are pictured in a new coronavirus, COVID-19, vaccination center at the Velodrome-Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Sohn, pool
Pfizer supply bolstered as Moderna cuts delivery, Ontario turns down Trudeau’s help

Pfizer supply bolstered as Moderna cuts delivery, Ontario turns down Trudeau’s help

Lights on an internet switch are lit up as with users in an office in Ottawa, on February 10, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Analysts say CRTC ruling will help regional carriers with new limits on Big Three

Analysts say CRTC ruling will help regional carriers with new limits on Big Three

In this May 26, 2018, file photo, people listen to Michael Franti perform at the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival in Napa, Calif. Canadian music festival organizers hoped this summer would mark a return to concerts, but as COVID-19 cases rage on many have already dropped off the calendar. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Eric Risberg
Facing the music: Summer concert festival organizers see no path ahead in pandemic

Facing the music: Summer concert festival organizers see no path ahead in pandemic

FILE - Ali Stroker accepts the award for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical for her performance in "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!" at the 73rd annual Tony Awards in New York on June 9, 2019. Stroker teamed up with middle grade author Stacy Davidowitz for a new children's book "The Chance to Fly," published this week. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
Singer with disability shines in Ali Stroker’s new kids book

Singer with disability shines in Ali Stroker’s new kids book

Retired Ohio sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

Retired Ohio sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

Musicians play Sikh hymns during Vaisakhi celebrations at Guru Nanak Darbar of Long Island, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 in Hicksville, N.Y. Sikhs across the United States are holding toned-down Vaisakhi celebrations this week, joining people of other faiths in observing major holidays cautiously this spring as COVID-19 keeps an uneven hold on the country. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Sikhs mark toned-down holiday amid continuing virus concerns

Sikhs mark toned-down holiday amid continuing virus concerns

Have an opinion you'd like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
Letter: MLAs who are against tougher restrictions have no plan for consequences

The group of UCP MLAs pushing to end lockdowns are exacerbating what… Continue reading

Most Read