There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t receive an email, text, and phone call trying to sell me something — I’m sure it is the same for you. I typically don’t even listen or open it. But this one caught be off guard.
It started with a phone call to my husband — his number is listed on our Interval International account. They left a message stating our account with Interval International had been tagged and they needed to talk to us about our week recently deposit. Coincidentally, we had recently received a bonus week that was deposited into Interval and it was a real possibility that this was a legitimate situation.
I know MVC really well, but haven’t worked with Interval for many years. So when I called back, and he stated that he could see from our account that we had a number of unused certificates, it was true. He verified my husband’s phone number, and “looked” up our account. He said that instead of using our bonus certificates which expire by the end of the year, they would like to use them for a corporate event in Orlando, and let us keep part of the revenue received for renting them. We would get $1700 minus the $299 fee to reserve the certificate. No touching our points or properties — just using my bonus week certificates to help with the corporate event. The real “red” flag that helped me not do it was I just needed to give them access to the certificates by paying the $299 first and I would get $1700 within 60 days.
I told them no, but I’ll be honest, I was doing the math in my head — if I got $1700 for each of the unused certificates we have, that money would come in handy. As soon as I hung up, I called Interval and asked if they had ever heard of such a thing. She assured me that she hears it every day, and very often the owner is trying to cancel their credit card before the money is delivered.
As I reexamine what happened, it seems pretty obvious it was a scam, but maybe I was caught up in the moment and the coincidences — I was intrigued and actually considering it. Don’t fall to these scams! They are clever, but nothing good comes from it. NEVER “buy” anything from a phone call to you — and don’t call the number they give you. You look up the company yourself, call THAT number, and verify it is legitimate. You’ve heard the council for years, but these scammers seems to be getting more sophisticated in their tactics.