Offer to purchase timeshare for over $1 million seems to be elaborate rip-off utilizing phony enterprise tackle


CHICAGO (CBS) — An provide sounded too good to be true – in what ought to have been a sufferer’s first clue that one thing wasn’t proper.

The provide got here from an organization claiming to be from Chicago, and introduced prospects for a heavy revenue for his timeshare.

CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov dug into it and located an elaborate rip-off, an area highway to nowhere, and a person who misplaced a whole bunch of hundreds of {dollars}.

Timeshares can shortly go from heaven to headache. So when somebody with a purported Chicago-based firm known as Intercontinental Realty known as the proprietor of a Cancún, Mexico timeshare – saying they might promote if for $1,081,218 – he was .

But he was additionally skeptical.

“At the time, it sounds like a scam. It sounds like there’s something fishy,” the proprietor mentioned. “You need to know upfront – I’m suspicious.”

But that worker began offering the proprietor – who doesn’t need to be recognized – with paperwork and ensures that lastly satisfied him to go forward with the deal.

“Next thing you know, we got a phone call that, ‘In order to process this thing, you need to pay a fee,’” the proprietor mentioned.

The proprietor says the enterprise despatched him elaborate emails and documentation, however the requests for cash went on and on – till the proprietor discovered himself out greater than $300,000.

“Foolishly – I mean, I have to tell you, Dana – greed drove this thing. I kept – the little voice in the back of my head kept saying, ‘There’s something not right here,’” the proprietor mentioned. “But that million dollars kept waving at me.”

Since the corporate’s web site says it’s positioned at 7 W. Madison St. within the Loop, the proprietor employed Chicago private investigator Joe McGreal to do some digging.

“Immediately within the first hour, I knew it was a scam,” McGreal mentioned.

McGreal started speaking with Intercontinental Realty’s supposed staff.

“I offered to meet with them. We set up three different meetings,” McGreal mentioned. “They never showed.”

So McGreal went to 7 W. Madison St. – the tackle listed on Intercontinental Realty’s web site.

“There are no real estate agents there,” McGreal mentioned. “There’s no office there.”

CBS 2’s Kozlov checked out that tackle too. She discovered 7 W. Madison St. is a dorm for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kozlov confirmed with an SAIC spokesperson that no tenant or enterprise known as Intercontinental Reality is positioned there.

So she tried calling the quantity on the web site for the enterprise. There was a voicemail claiming to be for Intercontinental Reality, however nobody returned our calls.

But it would not finish there. The paperwork within the proprietor’s case repeatedly reference funds being wired to or being dealt with in Mexico.

“Everything comes back to Mexico,” McGreal mentioned.

So McGreal took the paperwork given to the proprietor to the Mexican Consulate. He says a consulate official confirmed they had been solid.

“It looks legitimate, and it’s difficult for victims to determine that it’s fake,” McGreal mentioned.

“It was a very, very elaborate scam,” the proprietor added.

And he’s not the one sufferer. Seven different complaints have been filed with the Illinois Attorney General about Intercontinental Realty, and a few of these victims are out hundreds and hundreds of {dollars} too.

“We’d like to make everyone aware of the scam,” McGreal mentioned.

Both McGreal and the scammed proprietor consider there are various different victims on the market. McGreal hopes they may come ahead to assist catch the rip-off artists.

He says Mexican Consulate officers are additionally investigating, however nobody from the consulate replied to Kozlov’s emails or calls.


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