CONSUMER ALERT: Arizona Attorney General Warns of Spike in Timeshare Scams

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a warning to consumers regarding the surge of sophisticated timeshare scams.

In a statement, Brnovich said his office observed an increase in consumer complaint regarding scams involving resale of timeshares in Mexico. He also noted the scammers are targeting people who are “desperate to get out of their timeshares.”

Brnovich said Scammers are taking advantage on “that vulnerability to steal” those people’s money. He advised Arizonans, “Never wire or send money to people you don’t know or to a stranger in another country.”

Timeshare scams: Con artists pretend as real estate brokers

Scammers often pretend as real estate brokers when they contact a potential victim who owns timeshare interests in certain hotels or resorts in Mexico. They claim that a buyer is interested to buy or rent their timeshares and is willing to pay thousands of dollars.

However, scammers tell their potential victim to pay the taxes first, put money into an escrow account, or wire money to accounts in Mexico. They will try to continue to get money from the victim until he/she runs or money or realizes that he or she was scammed.

According to the Attorney General, individuals operating timeshare scams are generally from Mexico. These con artists are hiding their real identity by using the names of legitimate businesses in the United States. In particular, they are using businesses registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission that have been inactive for years.

In some cases, these scammers even pretended to be representatives of the Mexican government. They also claimed that the government set up a fund to help victims of timeshare scams in Mexico.

Brnovich is encouraging Arizonans who believe they are a victim of consumer fraud to file an online complaint. They may also contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763; in Tucson at (520) 628-6648; and outside of the metro Phoenix area at (800) 352-8431.