Niagara police alerting owners about ‘Mexican Timeshare Scam’
Niagara Regional Police (NRPS) is alerting the public about a scam that involves contacting owners of timeshares in Mexico.
The NRPS Fraud Unit says it’s received a number of complaints related to fraudsters who’ve reached out to residents who own timeshares in Mexico and offering the opportunity to sell it.
The scam involves the owner being contacted by an individual claiming to work for an International Real Estate Company with a website that looks legit.
The scammers will then claim a buyer is in place for their timeshare, send legal documents to be signed, before asking for thousands of dollars through multiple wire transfers to cover what they say are legal fees, Mexican taxes, and various other closing costs.
After the first few wire transfers, the fraudsters will try to keep the payments coming by concocting a story about a buyer backing out of the deal, but that a new buyer is in place.
When a victim eventually realizes they were part of a scam, in some cases, they received a call from someone claiming to be a Mexican prosecutor. That ‘prosecutor’ then tells them several individuals have been arrested, and that the victim can get some of their money back. More money wire transfers are then made to allegedly cover various legal costs in order to collect the reimbursement.
In a media release, Niagara police say this is a common scam across North America, and remind owners of properties outside Canada that “proper due diligence should be undertaken when selling a property, including consulting your bank and a lawyer.”
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