• The TUGBBS forums are completely free and open to the public and exist as the absolute best place for owners to get help and advice about their timeshares for more than 29 years!

    Join Tens of Thousands of other Owners just like you here to get any and all Timeshare questions answered!
  • TUG has a YouTube Channel to produce weekly short informative videos on popular Timeshare topics!

    Come check it out for a chance to win a Free TUG membership (or renewal) just for helping out!

    Read more here
  • TUG has now saved timeshare owners more than $19,000,000 dollars just by finding us in time to rescind a new Timeshare purchase! A truly incredible milestone!

    Read more here: TUG saves owners more than $19 Million dollars
  • Our 2022 Timeshare Survey is now complete and the full results as well as our expert and witty analysis of each question is available here: Here We hope you enjoy reading the results as much as we did!
  • Follow the TUG Member Banner as it travels the world on vacation with Timeshare owners! Also sign up to get the banner sent to you so you can submit a photo of your vacation with the banner to share with TUG! Banner Thread
  • Sign up to get the TUG Newsletter for free! 50,000+ subscribers! Latest resort reviews and the most important topics discussed by owners during the week!
  • Our official "end my sales presentation early" T-shirts are available again! Also come with the option for a free membership extension with purchase to offset the cost!

    Read more Here
  • A few of the most common links here on the forums for newbies and guests!

Got Scammed by timeshare broker re: renting Saratoga Spring

kawanku

newbie
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I have posted this at DIS board and lo and behold - TUG admin stepped in and advise to help me... He also advised me to post my story here....

I apologize for long posting.... Hope that I can learn something from all of you pro.... and thanks for listening....

=========================
All: I think I got frauded by timeshare broker regarding renting Saratoga Spring and I do apologize if I post in the wrong area.

I really do not know what to do next (I live in GA and the broker is in CA) and if any of you can let me know - I really really appreciate it.....

I saw an ad online at TUG (the ad has been taken down by moderator now pending the outcome) -
$1600.00 Firm

wk: 51 / 2008
Saturday To Saturday
Two Bedroom Lockout
2 Bathrooms
Sleeps 6

TimeshareVacationConnections
1 888 798 9229 #1 Daniel

-----
I know it sounds too good to be true but I have rented before using the ad in TUG and had no problem. I exchanged communication with the company and was sent some type of simple agreement to fill out my information. They told me to send the money with the agreement and after the owner signed the agreement, they would send me a copy.

This is the last communication that I got from them:
Date: Sep 15, 2008 10:41 AM

Mr. Sumardi,
We have received signed agreement from the owner of your rental in Dec, 2008. We will be converting to hard copies in the next 48 hours, then send them along to you. Keep this document on your person, when you leave for your holiday. You will receive it in 10-14 days from Wed Sept. 17th 2008. In about 2 weeks from a confirmation email from you, that you received it, we will send a confirmation from the resort itself.

Best Regards,


--------

So I waited patiently until last week when I didn't get anything. I called the company and was told that the mail was returned and they would try to send it again. I still didn't get it until now and when I called them - they didn't answer anymore and they disconnected one of the number I was given during initial call.

--------
It actually worse than the above too... I am sorry that I have to unload here... I have weaknesses over Disney and I thought that I found a deal....
The company offered me to buy Saratoga points - 150 pts for $7,000 since the owner desparately needs to sell..... I was again given the simple blank agreement and was told to send $3,500 which they said would be deposited into Escrow account.

This is the last email I got regarding this issue:
Date: Sep 12, 2008 10:46 AM
Dear Mr. Sumardi,
I just received your note and deposit. Yes $7,000.00 is the total amount, closing fees are subtracted out from the $7,000.00.
I will be updating you in 30 days or sooner, depending on the resorts progress.

Best Regards,

--------
I called the company about this too last week but was told - it usually took 120 days to complete transactions so I didn't ask more.... Now, with me not getting confirmation of my rental and not being able to contact them... can you advise me some kind of actions that I can start working on?

I accept the fact that I will not go to Disney (Or own Disney points) and I just try to get at least part of my money back.....

PLEASE HELP!!!!


Thanks

Benny

======
I just check bbb - it is rated C


Complaint Closing Statistics
The following grid displays the number and responses to complaints over the last 36 months:


No. of Cmpl Type of Response
0 Making a full refund, as the consumer requested
0 Making a partial refund
0 Agreeing to perform according to their contract
0 Refusing to make an adjustment
0 Refuse to adjust, relying on terms of agreement
1 Unanswered
0 Unassigned
1 Total

Other Considerations
Mail sent to this company was returned by the post office as "moved; left no forward address," "forward order has expired," or "unable to locate." The Bureau cannot trace addresses of companies or principals. General information is available upon request which may assist you.

------
I called my bank (I sent checks) - and since the checks already cleared - there is nothing that I can do.....


=====================

All - thanks for the pointers.... The checks were mailed using Fedex as they requested (I assume Fedex will not open up any investigation based on your reply). I also know the bank they got deposited with their account number since I printed a copy of the checks from my online banking statement but I do not think that I can do anything with it.... Can I call the other bank to open an investigation?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

elaine

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
4,920
Reaction score
1,836
Points
548
Location
DC
Resorts Owned
HGVC Eagles Nest, DVC-AKV, HHI, Waterside By Spinnaker
I would notify criminal authorities

sorry--sounds like a scam to me--store-front office that takes the cash and then folds up and runs to a new location with a new name. I would notify and file a criminal complaint in their jurisdiction ASAP. I would bet that you are not the only victim--chances are they advertised on other websites and took others' money, as well.
I would act quickly, if criminal authorities find them, you might be able to recover some funds, if they have not stashed/spent it all. sorry.
ps--all DVC sales have to pass ROFR (right of first refusal). 150 SSR points for $7K would NOT have ever passed ROFR--something a legitimate broker should have known. Elaine
 
Last edited:

Dave H

TUG Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
417
Reaction score
3
Points
228
Location
Orlando
Not a lawyer in real life and only get to play one on tv.... but the California DRE (Department of Real Estate) may be able to lend you some assistance as well as the Florida Real Estate Commission. Not sure on the last one, maybe RichardM can shed some light on that part.

Might also want to call the California Department of Banking and Finance as many companies out there are required to have an escorw license and maybe you will get lucky and they have one.

If not, criminal is about the only option you have. I agree with the above DVC 150 point for 7k would have been taken by DVC.

Dave
 

icydog

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
4,858
Reaction score
331
Points
468
Location
Central NJ
I'm very sorry this happened to you and from a Tug ad to boot. Please except my heartfelt wishes that you get most of your money returned to you.
 

TUGBrian

Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
19,889
Reaction score
5,211
Points
1,099
Location
Florida
Just to add some info, I have suspended this users ads and sent an email to all the known email addresses he/she has used to both register and post ads.

I will give them until tomorrow afternoon to respond in hopes of clearing this up and it just being a big misunderstanding and such.

If not, I will attempt other measures. I will not tolerate scams in the classified ads under any circumstances. I truly hope this isnt one.
 

Talent312

Tug Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
16,025
Reaction score
5,744
Points
948
Resorts Owned
HGVC & GTS
You have been the victim of a fraud and theft which are felonies and should be pursued as such. IMHO, the most effective way to pursue this is thru criminal complaints with all relevant agencies. If this weasel can be found, there is nothing like the threat of criminal prosecution to get someone to fork over misbegotten gains... or they'll be ordered to do so by the court.

Since you were defrauded where you live, you can start with your local law enforcement agency and the state Attorney General's fraud-department. They may also refer you to the relevant California agencies for the last known address of the offender.

Commonly, the law enforcement agencies assign a detective or investigator to track down the offender, get their statement, give them a chance to make restitution, and absent that, file a complaint with the district/state attorney's office. Some district/state attorney's offices accept complaints directly from citizens, but usually refer them to law enforcement agencies for investigation.
 

kawanku

newbie
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
All - I am so thankful for all your support.... I am not familiar with filing criminal report etc so I will find out more on how to do that. However, as Brian posted, I will wait for his advice since I have been in contact with him.

I am still hoping this can be solved with Brian intervention and if not, I will do whatever you guys advised .... I will keep you posted on how it turns out...


Benny
 

TUGBrian

Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
19,889
Reaction score
5,211
Points
1,099
Location
Florida
I have not heard any response to my email from yesterday, although being they are on the left coast I am going to give it till this afternoon before trying alternative contact methods.

It certainly is appearing more and more grim, and I would at the very least begin to investigate the alternatives above just in case this is a wost case scenario.
 

TUGBrian

Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
19,889
Reaction score
5,211
Points
1,099
Location
Florida
Well unfortunately the news gets progressively worse, the information provided by the individual when joining is obviously someone elses. I reached a nice little old lady in tampa by calling the number provided in his membership, and was at least convinced she had no idea who the person was we were trying to reach.

*sigh

I have advised the OP to begin contacting law enforcement officers in the location he mailed the check, as well as the bank to ask for advice in this matter and or their help in tracking down the invidiual that cashed his check.

Since we have attorneys in california, I am also going to send them a note asking for their advice on how the individual should best proceed next.

This is truly a sad day on TUG :(
 

TUGBrian

Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
19,889
Reaction score
5,211
Points
1,099
Location
Florida
Good advice passed on to me recently for how to proceed when faced with a situation like this.

Actions to take:

1. file a complaint with the California Attorney General's Office either on-line or sending it to the address provided in the A.G.'s website. The A.G. acts as a depository for complaints which can be requested by other law enforcement agencies when an investigation develops.


2. file a complaint with the FBI in California. You can obtain the address for soing so by visiting the FBI's website.

3. complain to anyone and everyone and see if any agency takes an interest. (including the local police department)



Side note:

One issue to note is that if the victim is not a state resident, but the perpetrator is, unless there are lots and lots of other victims, then law enforcement agency is faced with going after a local thief where victim is out-of-state, making the logistics of prosecution expensive, particularly in these times of shrinking government budgets.
 

elaine

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
Messages
4,920
Reaction score
1,836
Points
548
Location
DC
Resorts Owned
HGVC Eagles Nest, DVC-AKV, HHI, Waterside By Spinnaker
Brian, thank you for looking into this here and on Disboards

Unfortunately, I think these types of things are going to become more and more common. TUG ads are a great way to put people together. I have been the renter, rentee, and done several direct trades all via TUG ads--but I ALWAYS telephone anyone with whom I am renting to, from, or making a direct trade. thanks, again, Elaine
 

icydog

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
4,858
Reaction score
331
Points
468
Location
Central NJ
I too had a bogus call based on a Tug ad, but I chalked that up to having my name and email address on the internet. It was bound to happen.

(Edited to remove remarks which were inappropriate toward another TUG member)/ Bill4728 Moderator
 
Last edited by a moderator:

icydog

TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
4,858
Reaction score
331
Points
468
Location
Central NJ
I'm sorry I wrote the post above. It doesn't help anyone to throw sand into the wound. I apologize. I hope this Tug member is successful in her search for this thief.:(
 

kawanku

newbie
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
All - this is the update so far:
- I tried to report criminal complaint to Ladera Ranch police - spoke with them but was told to report in GA since I am in GA

- I talked with WaMu Ladera Ranch branch tried to initiate investigation - not that successful so far... I faxed them the copy of my checks which cleared through WaMu...

- I talked with my bank (BoA) and we tried to initiate Stop Pmt but the system would not do that due to checks were cleared before...

So, I guess that I am 0 for 3 for the day... not a good day....:(

I will look into the advise on getting complaint to State Consumer Affairs....
 

chellej

TUG Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
2,436
Reaction score
1,153
Points
523
Location
Spokane, Wa
Well unfortunately the news gets progressively worse, the information provided by the individual when joining is obviously someone elses. I reached a nice little old lady in tampa by calling the number provided in his membership, and was at least convinced she had no idea who the person was we were trying to reach.

This is truly a sad day on TUG :(
If you look up who the owner of the "timesharevacationconnections.com website (which no longer seems to be active) the owner of the site is registered to:
Name: joey mannino
Organisation Address. 4299 e sewaha st
Organisation Address.
Organisation Address. Tampa
Organisation Address. 33617
Organisation Address. FL
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES
Admin Email.......... capodetutu1@yahoo.com
Admin Phone.......... +1.8137703870


Maybe the little old lady in Tampa is a pretty good con too????:eek:

Also Here are ebay ads with the same info: http://buy.ebay.vn/buying/vn/display/330263042446_Coconut-Palms-Resort--Quiet-Gorgeous

http://buy.ebay.vn/buying/en/display/330262891916_Wyndham--Reef--Regency-Vacation-Club
 
Last edited:

TUGBrian

Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
19,889
Reaction score
5,211
Points
1,099
Location
Florida
certainly possible, although I am not sure why she woudl bother to return the phone call just to deny knowledge of the individual in question.

also the name listed there is not the same person listed on the membership...nor the name of the person in the closing company for the ad.
 

chellej

TUG Review Crew: Rookie
TUG Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
2,436
Reaction score
1,153
Points
523
Location
Spokane, Wa
Brian

If you look at the second ebay ad, it has the same phone number listed by the op and says to ask for daniel or joe. Look too at the ebay feedback - it is highly suspect. I think your help to the op is very admirable.
 

TUGBrian

Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
19,889
Reaction score
5,211
Points
1,099
Location
Florida
I would certainly investigate the tampa address and phone number, its highly unlikely that you are the only victim here, as mentioned in the advice earlier...if enough people complain, the better chance you have of getting on a law enforcements radar/to do list.
 

kawanku

newbie
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
All: thanks again for all the help...

Additional update:
- I have reported to FBI Internet fraud as suggested by some...
- I have reported to police in GA (should get a copy of the report in the next few days)

I will try to look at other avenues but I have a feeling that this will not get me anywhere.... sigh... It is a very expensive lesson to learn.....

I haven't told the kids about this issue and I still try to decide if I will find another rental for that week (Dec 20 -27) so they still get their Christmas vacation..... Please pray for me
 

Tia

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
3,055
Reaction score
316
Points
468
This is just awful, glad you are sharing the details. Someone like this , with a ts criminal fraud mind, no doubt has played others. Hope the authorities investigate and you get some justice.
 

kawanku

newbie
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Does anybody know if I can do small claim court in Ladera Ranch, CA? If you do, can you let me know how exactly... I am not at all familiar with judicial system....

Will it help me to file something in small claim court?
 

kawanku

newbie
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
One more thing - do you all know if I need to close my bank account and open a new one? It will be a lot of trouble since I have had this account for 20+ yrs and everything is linked to it.... Please advise....
 

calgarygary

TUG Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
1,025
Reaction score
0
Points
36
One more thing - do you all know if I need to close my bank account and open a new one? It will be a lot of trouble since I have had this account for 20+ yrs and everything is linked to it.... Please advise....
You know you have been scammed, you know that the scammers have already received all of your banking information as well as a copy of your signature. I wouldn't leave it another day!
 

NTHC

TUG Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
2,779
Reaction score
34
Points
434
Location
Panama City Beach, Las Vegas, Massanutten
Resorts Owned
Grandview Las Vegas, Regal Vista, Wyndham, Bluegreen, Diamond
{Edited by Moderator: Since this post was in response to a post that has been deleted, This post isn't need either. }
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top