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OPP, anti-fraud centre warn of schemes targeting timeshare owners

Police say consumers are solicited by telephone or email and are presented with an offer to sell their timeshare
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Members of the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police echo the following words of advice of ongoing schemes affecting timeshare owners from our partners at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, some Canadians are not comfortable with travelling causing some timeshare owners to consider selling their timeshares. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has prepared this bulletin to warn the public about fraudulent schemes targeting timeshare owners.

Consumers are solicited by telephone or email and are presented with an offer to sell their timeshare. In some cases, the owner advertised their timeshare for sale on the internet. The suspects promise a quick sale with a high profit margin. Various fees are requested up front prior to the final sale, which includes maintenance fees, escrow fees and taxes.

Documentation and correspondence with the victim is very professional. The suspects provide victims with documents that appear to be legitimate. The documents are very detailed and may require a signature or witness to provide a false sense of authenticity and credibility. Victims are often solicited by companies in Mexico or the United States and are required to wire funds to a bank account in Mexico or another country.

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Be wary of unsolicited offers to sell your timeshare. Do not agree to anything over the phone or online until you thoroughly research the buyer.
  • Do your research and only use an accredited agency.
  • Do not pay upfront fees! Many "businesses" claim to specialize in reselling timeshares. If you are interested in selling your timeshare, use a company that offers to sell for a fee after the timeshare is sold.
  • Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself.

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If not a victim, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre anyways.