CLERK BOCK WARNS OF ORGANIZED SCHEME TARGETING TIMESHARE OWNERS
Callers claiming to be Clerk & Comptroller’s office employees
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (August 8, 2011) – More people have contacted the Clerk & Comptroller’s office to warn of a growing fraud ring targeting timeshare owners throughout the United States.
Clerk Sharon Bock issued an alert last week warning citizens to be wary of calls from people claiming to either work for the Clerk & Comptroller’s office or work in the courthouse in West Palm Beach.
Since Clerk Bock’s initial warning, more victims have contacted the Clerk’s office to share their stories. “This is clearly an organized scheme,” Clerk Bock said. “It’s only getting bigger, which is why it’s urgent to spread the word about this fraud.”
The callers urge their targets to wire money through Western Union so they can collect from a timeshare victims’ trust fund. Another scam has asked people to wire money to collect from a probate case. In both cases, people were told to either send money to Jose Suarez or to Nicholas Danforth.
One victim in Connecticut sent Danforth two separate wire transfers totaling more than $400. She was given an attorney’s name, legitimate Florida Bar license number and office address.
Another victim, a retired teacher in Ohio, was told to wire $289 to Suarez through a Wal-Mart money transfer service. She did not send money, and instead contacted the Clerk’s office.
Both women owned timeshare properties that they had attempted to sell.
Clerk’s office employees will never call and ask that money be wired to them. Anyone with questions about a call they’ve received should contact the Clerk’s office at (561) 355-2996.
“We want to make sure that the people perpetrating this fraud are caught,” Clerk Bock said. “If you’ve been a victim of this scam, it’s important that you let us know about it, and that you call the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office or your local police department, especially if you’ve sent money.”
For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call (561) 355-2996.
The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents. In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.
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