Alert: Fraudulent Title Companies Handling Mexico Timeshares

January 15, 2019

Licensed title companies in Missouri have been warned by the state’s department of insurance about a scam where fraudulent title agencies are handling transactions involving Mexico timeshares.

According to the Missouri Department of Insurance, people are posing as inactive or expired licensed title insurance agencies or title insurance agents and fraudulently soliciting, handling conveyance documents and funds related to Mexico timeshare properties.          

Marjorie Thompson, a special investigator for the Missouri Department of Insurance, reported that valid licensed insurance company’s addresses are used in the transaction with an expired licensed title agency name on the documentation. 

The first pillar of ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices” provides guidance in ensuring title professionals have the proper licensing as required to conduct business.

Title companies are encouraged to randomly check name and address of business entity on the internet, inform staff and report any concerns to the department of insurance.

Tips to Protect Your Business Online

Do not share financial documents, sensitive personal information or account numbers via email or other web-based services. If you must provide this sensitive information over a website, ensure that the site is secure. A secure website is indicated with “https” in the website’s URL.

Business Records Filed with Secretary of State

If you have registered your business with your secretary of state, you should do the following:

  • Maintain the “Good Standing” or “Effectiveness” of the business;
  • Note your reporting or renewal month on a calendar;
  • Timely file your reports or renewals;
  • If available, sign up for email notification for your entity or trade name;
  • Sign up for Secure Business Filing if available; and
  • Periodically check your entity’s or trade name’s history.

Monitor Activity

The best method to detect possible identity theft is to monitor activity around your business. You should:

  • Monitor your business’s credit report and, if possible, sign up for a credit monitoring service.
  • Subscribe to your secretary of state’s business entity email notifications service, if it has one.
  • Sign up for email alerts for your accounts.
  • Monitor your accounts and bills. If an unexpected bill, charge, credit card or account shows up or a regular bill doesn’t arrive, contact the billing company.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or

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