Shady timeshare salesmen who set up a new scam to fleece Exeter victims of their own mis-selling given suspended sentences

ExpressEchoCredits: Exeter Express & Echo

A pair of shady timeshare salesmen who set up a new scam to fleece the victims of their own mis-selling have been spared jail.

Michael Girvin and Niel Mendoza received suspended sentences after a Judge heard how they had made no profit from their new business which was shut down by trading standards officers within weeks of it starting up.

The two men were former timeshare salesmen who cooked up a new scam in which they targeted their previous customers and overcharged them to get out of the dodgy contracts.

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Three arrested in alleged €600,000 Fuengirola fraud

RCIVenturesCredits: RCI Ventures
By: Steve Adams

MindTimeshare, the Spanish-based organisation that helps to help timeshare owners who are the victims of rogue operators, has announced a major breakthrough in Fuengirola.

Three people that were behind nine companies that allegedly defrauded hundreds of European timeshare owners out of €600,000 were arrested last year following a report lodged with the police in Fuengirola by Mindtimeshare.

The companies’ alleged modus operandi involved cold calling timeshare owners purporting to be calling from a Spanish law office and informing them that a case had been ruled in the Spanish courts against their resort and that a fund of money had been set aside for ‘victims’.

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Timeshare sellers and owners join forces to tackle rogue firms

ThisIsMoneyCredits: This is Money
By: Victoria Bischoff

Timeshare sellers and owners have teamed together to tackle rogue firms who dupe victims out of thousands of pounds every year.

They have set up their own regulator called The Timeshare Task Force.

This is made up of the Resort Development Organisation, which represents legitimate timeshare firms, the timeshare owners’ association TATOC and advice service the European Consumer Centre.

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European Timeshare Leaders Create a New Task Force

PRWebCredits: PR Web

The leading businesses and bodies in the European timeshare sector have launched a new initiative to tackle issues that potentially affect hundreds of thousands of timeshare owners and consumers; the initiative also signifies a new era reflecting the great strides forward that the industry has taken in quality and integrity.

The Timeshare Task Force brings together RDO’s own enforcement operation, resorts, timeshare owners, consumer organisations and law enforcement agencies to achieve common goals. At the top of the priority list is tackling the rogues that have been defrauding timeshare owners and consumers to the tune of millions of Euros.

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Tarnished timeshare industry acts at last and sets up own regulator as fraudsters’ new twist hits victims TWICE

NewscomauCredits: This is Money
By: Sarah Bride

The battered timeshare industry has set up its own regulator in a desperate attempt to tackle organised criminals defrauding customers, and to restore a reputation left in tatters by a string of scandals.

The latest spate of fraud aims not to sell new holiday timeshares but to sting existing owners. Often short of cash and facing retirement – or regretting their original investment – they are being targeted with fake offers to buy out their timeshares or switch them into new holiday deals that may not even exist.

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Timeshare Task Force Media Release

KwikChex is coordinating a new European Timeshare Task Force designed to help consumers and drive quality and integrity.

KwikChex is the principal coordinator in a new initiative designed to tackle issues that potentially affect hundreds of thousands of timeshare owners and consumers. The initiative also marks the start of a new era reflecting the great strides forward that the industry has taken in quality and integrity.

Timeshare Task ForceThe Timeshare Task Force brings together timeshare resort and consumer organisations, timeshare owners, and law enforcement agencies that share common goals.

At the top of the priority list is tackling the rogues that have been defrauding timeshare owners and consumers to the tune of millions of Euros.

These fraudulent businesses come in many guises – making promises connected to timeshare resales, legal claims and discounted holidays for life. The great majority are simply criminals. They use the internet and cold calling to trap the unwary. They are clever – using misinformation and useless guarantees to lure their victims in.

Nowhere to hide for the rogues now

The new initiatives include identifying the perpetrators – many of which are serial offenders – and preparing prosecutions. In the most serious cases, information is being passed to law enforcement agencies such as the UK National Fraud Intelligence Bureau; its exceptional experience and expertise in coordinating cross border investigations are essential in tackling those that operate in several different countries.

The coordinated effort will make life very difficult for those that have targeted the timeshare sector – every website, every advertisement run on Google, every cold call is like to result in an investigation, sophisticated tracing and criminal charges. Every time a fraudster contacts a timeshare owner or consumer, they will be running the risk of talking not to a potential victim – but a private investigator or law enforcement officer.

And in addition to the major cases involving the police, the Task Force will also use private criminal prosecutions to ease the burden on the authorities and speed the process of apprehending the perpetrators.

New online resources to help timeshare owners and consumers

Timeshare Business Check website

Every day practical measures are also being offered, including new online advice resources, such as the Timeshare Business Check which will provide information on businesses selling within the timeshare and related sectors. Key features are the ‘transparency evaluation’ and checks on the business and ownership. And of course, concerned consumers will be able to report any irregularities.

For those that want advice or are seeking resolutions, the Timeshare Business Check provides trusted resources – especially for those that want to know more about timeshare products in the modern era and the laws and codes of conduct that protect consumers and timeshare owners. It will also help those that want to find trusted timeshare resorts and resale companies.

New heights of quality and integrity

The Timeshare Task Force will also see the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) conducting a further review in early 2014 with its members and partners focusing on the quality and integrity of sales processes beyond the existing compliance with EU laws and the current RDO code of conduct. Much progress has been made in terms of dealing with issues such as those needing to exit the industry, for example deserving timeshare owner exit cases involving illness, bankruptcy and death.

Calvin Lucock, Chairman of RDO, commented:
“The next year we expect to continue to work on significant initiatives in the timeshare sector – bringing benefits for consumers and timeshare businesses alike.”

Those responsible for the new initiatives include the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), who, together with their members have taken the lead and are financing it, TATOC, the timeshare owners association, and the European Consumers Centre. Law enforcement agencies and politicians across Europe will also be a key part of the strategy. KwikChex will use the full range of its resources to help ensure the success of the Task force, including extensive online investigation and business verification, resolutions services and legal assistance. The key to making this work within the timeshare sector is exactly the same principle as KwikChex uses in all its work in all sectors – a total focus on quality and integrity that benefits and protects consumers and businesses that are committed to high standards.


Timeshare Business Check
Timeshare Task Force

What a difference a year makes…

Credits: RDO (Resort Development Organisation
By: Chief Executive Blog

“With apologies to Jamie Cullum who wrote the lyrics for the song “What a difference a day makes”. This song title came into my head after Chris Emmins (Kwikchex) and I had made a presentation to the staff of the UK and Scandinavian European Consumer Centres Network[i] (ECC-Net) on who RDO represented (the best in timeshare in Europe) and what we were doing to combat the fraudsters in Europe (through RDO Enforcement and the Timeshare Task Force).”

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