Timeshare Con-man Impersonates Lawyer & Key to Vacation Club

Our scam-buster team came across a timeshare-con with a new twist, impersonating a licensed attorney. Impersonating legitimate companies and individuals (brokers, escrow agents, attorneys, etc.) is the latest trend in timeshare scams. The scammers use similar brand name email addresses and website URLs to deceive their victims (one scammer replicated our entire website, click here to learn about that timeshare scam !).

Martin was contacted by “Mark Lopez of Key to Vacation Travel” with an offer to buy his unit at Pueblo Bonito Resort and Spa.  Lopez was also hiding behind a legitimate company, claiming to be an agent of Key to Vacation Travel.  Like any good Mexican timeshare resale scam, the heist goes something like this: for the sale to commence the seller must pay fees required by the Mexican government and when these fees are paid the broker will send the proceeds of the seller.  In this particular case, the generous “broker” was going to wave the commission fee of 8%!

key to vacation scam mark lopez
No promises, just lies. “Just send us fees and we’ll send you proceeds.”

How much was money Martin was offered for his timeshare you might wonder? $110,670.00.

Lopez was only asking him to pay the $5,533.50 in fees, which would seem reasonable if you were poised to receive nearly 100K in profit.

Next, Lopez introduces the attorney.

Behind the scenes, one of the scammers found a licensed attorney whose identity they felt would be easy to use.  Sheila G. Kolbe was the target of their identity scam. Kolbe is a licensed attorney but does not practice in the state of WI as stated on the fake documents. The scammers found an office building for sale in Appleton, WI  and used that address as her place of business. The documents also listed a url of www.leadinglaw.com, which is simply an online directory for attorneys across the U.S.A, not the address of an actual law firm.  The alleged representative from the legal office communicating with Martin was
“Sophia Sotomayor”.

The attorney was being used to give Martin the security of knowing that a legal professional would hold his funds in escrow and distribute them according to the agreement between Martin and Key to Vacation Travel.  The attorney would also notarize Martin’s transfer documents. Notarization of transfer documents is a requirement for sale of all Mexican timeshares.

key to vacation scam mark lopez
Mark Lopez does not work for Key to Vacation Travel.

 

If that sounds preposterous, well it is.  And Martin knew it. So he did some digging on the internet and came across our Scam Hotline.

Martin sent us the documents he received and a copy of his correspondence with Lopez and Sotomayor.

We knew immediately it was a scam due to the outrageous sales price of 110K, and it didn’t take long for us to suss out the other fraudulent elements of this case.  Martin did not send a dime to these scammers and because he contacted us we can now post this information online to help other timeshare owners avoid similar situations.

The internet makes it easier than ever to conduct fraud, so please be diligent when dealing with people you don’t know, nor have you contacted, who are attempting to buy your timeshare.

Our services are free of charge and we can help you avoid scammers simply by scheduling a call with us to review the purchase offer.  Please visit ww.timesharescamhotline.com for more details.

 


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    1. the easiest way to bring these deals to an unquestionable end, it to start by tracing their email back to the desktop they are using.. Its a simple 2-3 step process that takes less than 30 seconds and gives you their exact IP and location.

      I have had about the same experience as above. ?reale state office backed by a separate escrow office and then depsit of funds into a mexican bank that are verifiable. then Lawyer who takes funds from you for temporary naturalization( which according to my Mexican immigration lawyer doesn’t exist). Then after you pay the 5% to the law firm they send you a legit looking form and tax ID number.. and receipt for the federal taxes IAT., then they show you the buyer paid his 16% IAT tax.and an offical looking receipt.
      the problem after this is they keep trying to milk you for more taxes.. My place was in Cabo and they will say that a 9% sales tax is due they didnt know about and will waive their 4% commision if you will just send that tax Money to the SAT office.
      they give you a legit lookng SAT tax bill and tell you this is all that needs to be paid to release the already confirmed funds in the account..
      Do NOT fall for the game. Its ALL Lies and scam.. Never will any one offer you anywhere near what you paid for your timeshare. It just doesnt happen. Why would they when the time share will personally sell this person one for less and no hassle with financing also.
      So either enjoy your timeshare or dump it if its in another country. they will just resell it to someone else.
      BE AWARE, THERE ARE NO BIG MONEY BUYERS.. ONLY BIG MONEY SCAMMERS. Most traces of email lead back to mexico..

      1. “BE AWARE, THERE ARE NO BIG MONEY BUYERS.. ONLY BIG MONEY SCAMMERS.” – Well said Art! We couldn’t agree more. Your tip on tracing emails with IP is spot on, we use that technique when investigating scams. But it can be a little advanced for a general user. That’s why we created our Timeshare Scam Hotline. Folks need a trusted expert on their side to navigate the timeshare resale market. Thank you for sharing your story.

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