On September 21, 2021, the New York State Department of State and the Division of Consumer Protection issued a press release warning of a fraudulent letter scheme claiming the recipient is entitled to receive a large payment being held by the Department of State to settle debts relating to the sale of timeshares.
The scheme, which uses a forged signature of New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado and the New York State seal, has been referred to the New York State Attorney General for investigation. Anyone who has received this or a similar letter is asked to contact the New York State Attorney General’s Real Estate Enforcement Unit, New York State Office of the Attorney General, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005.
To help protect against these types of scams, the Division of Consumer Protection recommends the following:
1. Exercise caution with all communications you receive, including those that appear to be from a trusted entity.
2. Inspect the sender’s information to confirm the message was generated from a legitimate source – be suspicious if the reply to address is different from the sending address.
3. Independently verify the entity’s contact information through an online search engine.
4. Consider calling the sender at a known good number, not listed within the communication, to confirm they sent the communication.
For more consumer protection information, call the Division of Consumer ProtectionHelpline at 800-697-1220, Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm or visit the Division of Consumer Protection website at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.
The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer