DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH THESE PEOPLE !
DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH THESE PEOPLE !
The lead scammer in this was someone claiming to be a real estate broker, by the name of 'Michael Shapiro. He contacted me (unsolicited) in June of 2020 to purchase (2) timeshare units I have owned at the Royal Resorts in Cancun for many years. He told me his brokerage group was asked by Daiwa House Group out of Japan, to put together a purchase package of 82 high-end timeshare units for Daiwa's real estate division to close on by a certain near term date. This was a patently false statement, as Daiwa is a massive Japanese corporation with a long reputable history, and has no affiliation with this supposed brokerage group calling itself RealtyConsultantsInc.com. The alleged broker, "Shapiro", offered me an extremely high price, while declaring they are only interested in purchasing the best of the oceanfront properties for their client. We then spent a whole week on numerous document exchanges, which in hindsight was done mainly for establishing trust and keeping up the professional appearances of a legitimate real estate brokerage. I eventually received an email from a James C. Nichols, who represented himself as the head escrow officer at EscrowRecoveryServices.com. Included with this email was a pdf attachment of an escrow account statement, which showed me as the escrow account holder with $104,017 of available funds at Citibanamex in Mexico City, MX. The other alleged broker I spoke to, claimed to be Joseph Summerville, and he immediately asked that I call one of the bank numbers that was shown on the statement to verify those funds were in that account. However, I could not find that the number he asked me to call was even a legitimate phone number of Citibanamex, but was rather just a phone number printed on the escrow statement, and was described as the "Cross Border" number. This seemed odd at the time, since I had only received the statement by email just a few minutes earlier, but I went ahead and called it and a Spanish speaking girl answered the phone and she confirmed for me the amount on the Citibanamex statement. In further searches, I was not able to verify that this "Cross Border" number was a genuine Citibanamex phone, although it really did not matter at this point because I understood that they were fulling willing to deposit a large amount of funds into a legitimate bank account under one's name, as the Seller, because they never intend on actually paying you for any part of those monies regardless of what was said or done! So needless to say, I did not sign the contract they sent me, even though they continued to give me solid assurances that I, being the Seller, would never have to pay any taxes or fees before or after closing. However, as in other scams you will see on the web where they have perpetrated this scam on others, it's clear they WILL always attempt to extort funds from you in order to pay some last minute bogus charges & fees. They count on the Seller's enthusiasm that they will have a windfall of unexpected cash as the supposed final closing date approaches, so therefore they know a Seller will hardly object when they suddenly contact you and tell you that, "oh I am sorry, there has been some unforeseen fees or taxes as a result of a newly enacted MX tax law." So they will tell you that there is a Value Added Tax (VAT) due now to the MEX government, but no worries, as you will be reimbursed by the Buyer's escrowed funds at closing. Unfortunately, however, YOU MUST PAY THESE FEES yourself before they can release the large amount of funds in escrow for your purchase-offer.
(It should be noted here that the purchasers of timeshares are rarely taxed in MEX, as the resorts always maintain the overall property ownership, and so there is not a VAT tax. (This was confirmed by both Royal Resorts management and with MX legal assistance as well.) Whoever falls for these lies, will lose any money they have already sent to these hucksters at realtyconsultantsinc.com. I have been working with some others who have notified me they were already victims of these fraudsters, and have begun putting together a coalition of victims that have had this fraud perpetrated on them so that we can hopefully find these con-artists, and take them down through the best practices in both private and criminal legal efforts. Until then, they will continue wreaking havoc on unsuspecting timeshare owners within the U.S., with only the intentions of defrauding the victims as best they can and as much as they can!
(Confirmed Alias) Michael Shapiro - Broker - 917-781-3940
NYS Broker's Licenses - 109905451 & 35SH0022045
(NOTE: This person IS NOT Michael Shapiro, as he is only using this name as a stolen identity of an actual 'Michael Shapiro.' The criminal alias he is using for his stolen identity & home address, is actually a true person & that person's personal home address! His broker licenses are listed on the NYS licensing site using this false name and address of the identity theft victim. On the NY licensing site, the criminal alias declares his legal name & domicile are the same address of an 'actual' Michael Shapiro, who is the legitimate owner of the claimed address. It should be noted here that I have been in communication with the true owner of the property, for which the alias has stolen for his own, and as of 7/9/20 have been in correspondence with the victim's legal counsel.
(Alias?) Joseph Summerville - Broker - 929-450-3102
NYS Broker's License - 35SU0535332
1950 Cross Bronx Expwy
BRONX , NY
(Alias?) Donna Ward - Exec Asst 646-712-9319 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Alias?) James C. Nichols - Head Escrow Officer with Escrow Recovery Services, LLC - 646-741-9104
(Alias?) Linda Hoffman - Buyer’s representative - Daiwa House Industry
RealtyConsultantsInc.com - supposed address - 10 West 20th Street New York, NY, 10011 (There's no record of this company in this mostly residential 8-story building)