Between 4 and 9 February 2021, seven men, aged between 36 and 43 years old, were charged in court for their suspected involvement in various timeshare recovery scams.
From 2016 to 2018, the men deceived 29 victims into paying fees or taxes amounting to more than $2 million under the guise of helping the victims to recover the monies in relation to their timeshare memberships. The men allegedly misrepresented to the victims that they could help to recover monies from their timeshare memberships by selling it to other “interested parties” or recovering the “rental fees” generated from their timeshare memberships. In some cases, the men also allegedly showed the victims fake bank cheques, which were purportedly the amounts recovered for their timeshare memberships. The victims were then asked to pay various fees before they could receive the “recovered amounts”.
The men were charged for various offences including cheating and fraudulent trading. If convicted of cheating under Section 420 of the Penal Code, the men shall be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years and a fine. If convicted of fraudulent trading under Section 340(1) punishable under Section 340(5) of the Companies Act, the men shall be liable to imprisonment for up to seven years, or a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
The Police would like to advise members of the public to be vigilant when receiving unsolicited calls from companies or persons purporting to help them recover monies from their timeshare memberships. They should also adopt the following precautions:
- Be wary when someone calls you regarding your timeshare membership.
- Refrain from providing any personal information or information on your timeshare membership to the caller.
- Conduct background checks on the company’s track record before engaging its services.
- Request for a copy of the documentation on their proposals, representations, contracts and agreements. Be wary if the company is reluctant to provide you with such documentation and only provides verbal promises.
- Check with the timeshare developer if the company had dealt with the former in the recovery of timeshare membership fees.
- Exercise extra caution especially if you are asked to make upfront payments with the promise of assisting you to recover your monies from your timeshare memberships.
Source: Singapore Police Force