There have been 30 reports of fraudsters offering to sell false timeshares on holiday homes over the summer months.

Victims lost a total of £94,089 through the frauds between May and August 2017, according to Action Fraud.

Reports show that victims paid an advanced fee but after payment were unable to contact a salesperson and struggled to have their money refunded.

Action Fraud said the holiday property often doesn’t exist.

Further reports show that fraudsters are cold calling the victims of previous fraudulent or mis-sold timeshare schemes, claiming to be from the Spanish authorities or legal firms that either do not exist or are clones of genuine firms.

They are advising previous victims that they are owed compensation and simply need to pay a fee to obtain this money; or the fee is requested under the pretence that this is an administrative fee for the courts, after which the amount ‘owed’ to the victim can be released. The fraudsters are aware of the victim’s personal details from the previous fraud and possess knowledge of their previous investment, giving the fraudsters false credibility.

Detective inspector Chris Felton of the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau said: “With £90,000 worth of timeshare fraud losses reported to Action Fraud since May, we are urging people to be cautious. Fraudsters lure people in with an attractive timeshare offer on a holiday property only to then cease contact once the victim has paid an advance fee.

“As with all victims of fraud, our reports show that timeshare fraud victims are vulnerable to recovery fraud. Recovery fraud is a common way in which fraudsters attempt to defraud people who have already fallen victim to fraud by offering to return what they have lost.

“If in doubt, always check directly with the relevant organisation to ensure the correspondence has come from a legitimate source.”

Action Fraud is warning potential victims to check web addresses from any businesses are legitimate, including slight differences such as from ‘.co.uk’ to ‘.org’; to check terms and conditions closely, be wary of companies that don’t provide paperwork; and vet companies selling timeshares via aa solicitor.

Other advice includes not responding to unsolicited phone calls, end contact when asked for bank details, check contact details of organisations and to take independent legal or financial advice.

Previous fraud victims are urged to be aware of recovery fraud, to challenge or ignore contact from people you don’t know or companies you haven’t heard of and to ask how they found out that you are a victim.

If you believe you have fallen victim to fraud or cyber crime, you can report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting actionfraud.police.uk