KwikChex has received reports that agents working for UK International Clearance Centre have been cold calling consumers and spreading disinformation about recent Spanish court cases.
This scammer claimed there had recently been a successful court case against Monster Travel Group. They claimed that whilst the court case was successful, there had been a stop placed on the monies that should be awarded to the consumer. This is a lie – there have been no rulings in the Spanish courts.
The consumer was then contacted by an agent who claimed to work for the Spanish courts (Juzgado 1a Instancia no 84 de Madrid). They informed them that the payment had been withheld because the beneficiary document “International documento de beneficiario” had been omitted from the case file. This agent requested a payment of approximately £2,450 for lawyer fees which would then make the full payment available for transfer.
The scammers then made contact again and asked for more money. They confirmed that the judicial side of proceedings had been completed successfully but there was still an outstanding tax payment that needed to be cleared. They claimed that once this was paid the Spanish tax agency (Agencia Tributaria) would lift the embargo on the bankers drafts and monies would be released in 5-7 days. A payment of approximately €3,129 was requested.
Another request for payment followed shortly afterwards. This time it was an invoice for NIE registration. They claimed that this would enable the embargo on the payment to be lifted and the settlement to be released. This invoice for NIE Registration claimed to be from the Audiencia Provincial Seccion 7a Penal.
Throughout this entire process the scammers had falsely claimed to represent the Spanish courts and other official entities, openly displaying the logos and badges of these organisations in correspondence.
UK International Clearance Centre / Finance Clearance Centre / Thorndon Clearance Centre
These callers have used the names UK International Clearance Centre, Finance Clearance Centre and Thorndon Clearance Centre – KwikChex has not been able to find a registered company with any of these names.
What to do if you have been contacted by UK International Clearance Centre / Finance Clearance Centre / Thorndon Clearance Centre
There have been no rulings in the Spanish courts – the Serious Organised Crime Unit of Avon & Somerset police have warned consumers affected by the Monster businesses to beware of this type of attempted fraud
KwikChex, which manages the Trading Standards accredited Timeshare Task Force has produced advice for timeshare owners to help them avoid these scams.
The STOP! & Check initiative will help owners deal with cold-callers and their cunning deceptions.
We would also advise you file a report with Action Fraud.