The scammers reportedly cold call timeshare owners who own timeshare resorts in Mexico, and present the seller with a purchase offer that is supposed to not require any type of upfront fee. Contracts are sent to the seller that appear to be very legitimate, other than the drastically inflated sale price being promised. However, when the "closing agent" gets involved- the hidden upfront fee is demanded!
The seller is called and told that a new "tax" is now required for all Mexican timeshare sales that must be paid prior to closing. The seller is told that this "tax" cannot be taken from their sale proceeds, but instead they must wire the payment immediately or their sale will be canceled. If the seller sends in the fee- they never hear from the "closing agent" again and of course, never see a dime of the supposed sales price they were promised!
If you own a timeshare property in Mexico and receive an offer to sell your timeshare, always take the time to properly research the closing costs and closing process so that you are protected from scams such as this. You can simply call your resort's owner services department and ask them to provide you with instructions and the cost required to transfer the ownership. Mexican timeshares are not deeded, so the transfer is actually done by the resort itself!
As always- never pay any type of upfront fee to sell an unwanted timeshare! Regardless of what it is called- marketing fees, advance commission, or even Mexican transfer tax- simply say no and hang up the phone. In a true closing process, any seller fees that would be due would simply be taken from your proceeds at closing and would not require you to advance or wire money to the closing company or the reseller!