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ANYWHERE: It doesn’t matter where anymore, the Mexico Escrow Fund/Bank Wire scam could be coming from anywhere. And it doesn’t matter what names or phone numbers are used, as they can change at the drop of a hat — and they do. So what we have to concentrate on is the methods they use, the basics of which are always the same with the end result being YOU bank wiring funds to a Mexican bank in the belief that you are paying some sort of tax or fee to the government in order to complete the sale of your timeshare (or, more recently, to release funds from a phony baloney government resale remuneration fund).
Let me reiterate to anyone out there who is contacted by these scammers:
- If you are contacted by any company FOR ANY REASON and they say you have to bank wire funds to Mexico to complete a transacation, IT IS A SCAM! DO NOT DO IT!
It’s as simple as that. No matter how convincing they are, no matter what kind of authentic-looking documents they send, no matter ANYTHING — DO NOT DO IT!
Having said that, there are some new names to add to the list of Mexico Escrow Fraudsters, which I will add here just to make them public for anyone who might be trying to find out if they’re legit.
1) –Red Rock Resale Group. Supposedly based at 2375 Camelback Road, Suite #690, Phoenix, Arizona, that address belongs to an executive suites building. When contacted they confirmed that as of this date no company named Red Rock Resale Group has a physical presence there. (Note that the building at that address, called 24th at Camelback, also offers a mail-forwarding service, telephone answering and a virtual office, so they could have that kind of arrangement without actually maintaining a physical presence.)
Furthermore, there is no registered corporation by that name in Arizona, even though the company website says the President/CEO started the corporation in 2002. AND a search of real estate licenses at Arizona’s Dept. of Real Estate shows that no one by the name of Michele Walton is licensed to sell or broker real estate in Arizona. Ditto David Marquez (and Benjamin Banducci), though “testimonials” on the company’s website clearly indicate that Michele was a broker in a full ownership real estate sale (click on the screenshot).
Names associated with this company so far are primarily David Marquez and Michele Walton (the supposed CEO). The names and photos of their “staff” on their website are almost certainly as bogus as the testimonials.
The domain name for their website was registered in Rosario, Argentina in July 2013 via an Argentinian domain registration/resale company; the website is hosted on servers located in Argentina. And of course they will ask you to bank wire money to an “escrow” fund in a Mexican bank.
This “company” is very new so there is not much info available about them online yet, but Yelp does have a couple of references to them, which you can read at this link. Make up your own mind: Scam or No Scam?
2) –Gross Point Executives. Supposedly based at 407 Carondelet St., New Orleans, that address is an office building. I have found 12 businesses renting suites in that building, and Gross Point Executives is not among them. There is no business registered in Louisiana by that name.
The domain name for their website was registered in December 2013 by Robinson Wenbla to Gross Point Executives at the above address. However, it was registered using a Mexican service in Mexico City and the website is hosted by servers located in Mexico.
Names associated with this group include the alleged President/CEO is Ryan Smithback, along with Josh Gibbons, Jeff Schwartz, and Kevin Anderson. Those names are probably aliases. Phone numbers used are 504-717-2746; 504-717-2829; 504-717-2758.
I noticed that they show the logos for RCI, Interval International and SFX on their (very rudimentary) website; I very much doubt that those companies know about that or have approved it. They also have a BBB Accredited Business logo there; they are not BBB accredited. And of course they are asking their victims to bank wire money to an “escrow” fund at a bank in Mexico (in this case it’s Banamex).
IMPORTANT: If you are taken in by this type of scam, don’t be too embarrassed to report it, to splash your experience all over every ripoff/complaints/timeshare forum/website you can find (except for timesharescam.com, they’re spammers) as well as reporting it to the FBI, the FTC and any other US agency you think might take your complaint to heart. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid; lots of very smart people have been convinced by the legitimate-looking documentation and sincere patter that usually accompanies this type of scam, you were just one of them. Be a hero and help others avoid it!
Again, any time you as a timeshare owner are asked to wire money to a Mexico bank relevant to anything that is timeshare-related, you can be sure it’s a fraud. DON’T DO IT!
Note that Mexican timeshare intervals/points are bought and sold (and rented) every day right here in the USA via a multitude of legitimate timeshare resale companies, that they are purely USA-based transactions, and no Mexican government fees or taxes are ever required.
Note also that with the plethora of timeshares available for resale on the Internet at rock-bottom prices, no one is going to legitimately offer anywhere near what you paid for your timeshare when you purchased from the developer. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you!
Here are two articles about Mexico Timeshare Fraud, one from Inside The Gate and the other from California’s Department of Real Estate. Read them and pass them around; the more publicity these frauds get, the fewer people will fall for them in the future!
The Mexico Escrow/Bank Wire Scam (InsideTheGate.com)
Warning Regarding Latest Timeshare Fraud Scheme Involving Wire Transfers (California Department of Real Estate)
I’m encouraged that an increasing number of people are finding this information in time to avoid these scams, but the scammers are still finding plenty of victims. Help get the word out!
Email the Gatekeeper (or leave a comment below).
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth
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