The Kansas City Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a business that is perpetuating a timeshare scam by using the former name of a local company. Moon Abstract Co. (www.moonabstractco.com) is posing as an escrow company in Overland Park, KS.
The real Moon Abstract Co sold its assets in 2012 and reformed using the name Moon Title & Escrow, but the original owners did not close the corporation with the Kansas Secretary of State. Scammers filed paperwork to re-register the company and use their name, which has operated in the area for decades.
Scams like this usually originate from a timeshare-selling company that contacts timeshare owners and claims that they are able to sell the victims’ unwanted timeshare. The scammers usually demand that the victim put a variety of fees or a tax fund in an escrow account. This is where fake escrow companies like Moon Abstract Co. come in. The victims place money in a supposed escrow account that the scammers have full access to. The victim never sees their money again.
Moon Acstract Co’s website claims that they have been in business for 24 years, but they only registered the website address in October, 2013. The address for the Moon Abstract Co at 7300 W 110th St, 7th Floor, Overland Park, KS is a virtual office where no company personnel work. The BBB’s emails to the company have gone unanswered.
Because Moon Abstract Co identifies itself as an Escrow company, they require special licensing in Kansas. The Kansas Department of Insurance has issued a cease and desist letter to Moon Abstract Co because they are not licensed to sell title insurance in the state of Kansas.
If you are selling your timeshare, keep the following tips in mind.
* Do not agree to anything over the telephone until you have had a chance to check out the company.
* Ask the person to send you written material to review; get legal advice if you have any questions.
* Ask for company references, such as the names, addresses, and phone numbers of several consumers who have used the company’s services.
* Ask where the company is located and in what states it does business.
* Ask if the company’s salespeople are licensed to sell real estate by the state where your timeshare or campground is located, and verify the information with the state licensing board.
* Make sure all conditions of the sale and any promises or statements made by a salesperson are confirmed in writing.
If you are a victim of a Timeshare Reselling Scam, BBB strongly encourages you to file a complaint with us, as well as report the incident your local police, your state’s Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).