U.S. Issues Official Travel Warning For Americans Over Timeshare Scams In Mexico

BY: Maria Valencia

When considering purchasing a timeshare or real estate in Mexico, U.S. citizens should exercise caution, as certain sellers may use dishonest methods. Before making an investment or acquisition, Americans should consult with a Mexican attorney about relevant real estate rules and laws.

U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued an official travel warning following more than 120 timeshare developments in Puerto Vallarta.

There are numerous forms of timeshare fraud, but they often involve the following steps: When timeshare owners accept an unsolicited offer from third parties claiming to have potential buyers, the scammers require them to pay fees and taxes upfront with the assurance that they will be refunded at closing. After several payments, however, timeshare owners learn that the offers were false, there were no buyers, and their money was lost. To protect yourself from timeshare scams, it’s critical to remain aware of these strategies.

Timeshare fraud resources

The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission released a warning in 2020 to alert consumers about fraudsters targeting timeshare owners in Mexico. If you have been a victim of this scam, you are advised to file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. To do so, you can visit their website at https://www.ic3.gov.

Perpetrators of timeshare fraud sometimes use the names of government agencies to make themselves appear more credible. For instance, they may contact victims and falsely claim to represent OFAC, demanding a payment to release funds that they claim have been blocked by the agency. In response, OFAC has issued a warning about these scams, cautioning individuals that perpetrators may falsely claim to represent the agency in order to perpetrate their fraudulent schemes.

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