VICTIMS of timeshare fraud are being warned not to fall for a second scam, which has already seen Brits conned out of £7million in seven months.
A timeshare is where a number of holidaymakers chip-in to buy a property abroad and have rights to use it during a certain period of the year.
They’re run by specific online organisations and often the joint owners don’t know each other.
But because no one has actually met each other, it makes investors vulnerable to scammers who trick you into handing over cash for a holiday property that doesn’t exist.
But now Action Fraud is warning that victims who have already been scammed out of their hard-earned cash are now being targeted for a second time.
Its investigations team received 1,155 reports of “recovery scams” between January and July this year.
How to avoid a timeshare compensation scam
HERE’S how to avoid being scammed out of your hard-earned cash for a second time, according to Action Fraud:
Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you, such as the website, address and phone number, are correct
Be aware of recovery fraud if you’ve been a victim before.
Ask how they know that you had been a victim. Any report of fraud is protected by law and can’t be shared with anyone else outside of law enforcement agencies.
Challenge any calls, letters or emails from people you don’t know or companies you’ve never contacted and if you’re asked to pay, or give your bank account details, end all contact.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Victims, who tend to be aged between 50 and 81-years-old, reported losing £7,893,028 in total which averages out at around £14,000 each.
Fraudsters are contacting victims by phone or by letter claiming that they are owed compensation for the previous scam.
The conmen – who have gotten hold of victims’ contact details through their previous investment – ask them to transfer between £2,500 and £9,000 in order to release the compensation funds.
The dodgy emails or callers tell customers that the money is to cover maintenance or legal fees but really the scammer pockets the cash.
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: “Fraudsters are luring people in with attractive offers of compensation or an early exit on a holiday property, only to then stop all contact once the victim has paid an advance fee.
“Callous fraudsters will often attempt to defraud people who have already fallen victim to fraud by offering to return what they have lost.
“If in doubt, always check directly with the relevant organisation to ensure the correspondence has come from a legitimate source.”
If you think you’ve been a victim of this kind of scam then you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 3040.