Clerk Bock Warns of Ongoing Fraud Schemes
I want to make sure you're aware of scams in our community targeting timeshare owners. These timeshare scams often appear to target seniors.
People claiming to be Palm Beach County court clerks are calling citizens around the country to inform them of money from a timeshare fraud settlement in the court registry. These fraudsters tell their targets that they must first wire money to claim a portion of the settlement. The callers identify themselves with a “clerk I.D.” number and call from phone numbers with a 561 area code.
Clerk’s office employees do not have identification numbers, and would never call to request money in order to claim proceeds from the court registry.
One timeshare fraud victim informed my office that he was contacted by a person identifying herself as “attorney Sara Stevens.” The victim was directed to contact “county clerk Rebecca Wallace, Clerk #2169.” The “county clerk” stated that monies the victim had paid out to timeshare impostors had been recovered and the victim needed to send a money gram for $2,240 to “Todd O’Connor” to pay for court fees before the recovered monies would be released. This, of course, is not true as my office would never call asking for money to recoup any such funds. Unfortunately, the victim sent the money.
In a separate incident, an out-of-state woman trying to sell her timeshare property was contacted by someone claiming to be a Palm Beach County courthouse employee. She was told to send $649 through Western Union to Jose Suarez, in exchange for $27,343 from an alleged timeshare victim’s fund.
In another case, someone contacted a senior citizen saying she was “Rebecca Reynolds” from the Clerk’s Division of Affidavits & Fraud. She told the senior that he had to pay court and filing fees to get a check from a class action lawsuit regarding fraudulent timeshare resale companies. Fortunately, this gentleman contacted our office before sending any funds.
Clerk Employees Do Not Call for Money or Personal Information
It is extremely important to remember that Clerk’s office employees will not call you to request payment over the phone or your personal information. If you receive one of these calls, make sure to write down as much information as you can about the call, and contact my office as soon as possible.
If you think you may have been the victim of a scam, you should contact your local law enforcement agency or the Florida Division of Consumer Services at 800-HELP-FLA (Florida residents) or
850-410-3800 (from outside of Florida).
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call my office at 561-355-2996 or send me an email.
Sharon R. Bock, Esq.
Clerk & Comptroller
Palm Beach County