Be on the lookout for timeshare resale phonies

The FTC and state consumer protection agencies have shut down dishonest timeshare resellers for bilking timeshare owners out of millions of dollars. If you’re selling a timeshare, listen carefully for the promise of lots of money quickly and a request for an upfront fee. Those are two key signs of timeshare resale scam — and someone you don’t want to do business with.     

In one recent case, Vacation Property Services claimed to represent big-name companies eager to buy timeshares for business travel and events. The company guaranteed timeshare owners hefty returns if they moved quickly on the offer. But first, the company said the owner had to pay from $500 to $2,000, via credit card, in “registration” and other fees to seal the deal.

Timeshare Resale Scams Infographic

Timeshare Resale Scams
Infographic

The company’s promises of ready buyers, fast sales, big profits and money-back guarantees turned out to be lies. What’s more, the timeshare owners were stuck with debt on their credit cards from paying the “fee” after the company told them that the sale would be complete — and that they’d have their money — by the time the credit card bill came.

If you own a timeshare, question any offers to help you resell it. Be skeptical of companies that:

  • claim the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re “overwhelmed” with buyer requests
  • say they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare — or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time
  • guarantee you’ll get big returns on your resale
  • require you to pay fees upfront — even if there’s the promise of a “money-back guarantee”
  • don’t provide a contract — or provide a contract that doesn’t accurately reflect conversations you had   

Read about buying and selling a timeshare, or check out our infographic to see how timeshare resale scams typically work.

Tagged with: scam, travel
Blog Topics: 
Homes & Mortgages

Comments

check out sell my timeshare. They want big bucks upfront and says they have a lot of buyers. Thanks.

Today I was almost scamed by a caller that told me to go to CVS and get green dot for $205 dollars and then call the number they gave and they would give me directions what I had to do to get my $9000 grant. But I got upset and called the FTC they said the federal Goverment does not charge a fee or does business in this way. Whats going on with these callers scanning people in this way

On 19 May 2014 at approximately 1215 PM I received a telephone call from 949-776-1604 from an organization claiming to be able to lower my interest rate to 6.99%. This is the third such call I have received in as many weeks and the first one with an identifiable phone number. I selected 1 to talk to a human being who said that they represented Chase and Bank of America. His accent and grammar were common to that which I have heard from Asian Indians and there was sufficient lag time to have the telephone call connected to India. This gentleman knew my credit card balance, payment history, and pronounced my last name better than most Americans. He then asked for my credit card number, SSN, address, and mother's maiden name. I knew that this was a phishing call and did not provide any of this information. I instead told him that I would be contacting Chase, the Better Business Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission. I also told him to remove my phone number from their records and to never contact me again.
I have already contacted Customer Services with Chase and reported this. I have asked that at statement be added to my account that I would not be requesting additional credit, address change, or any other changes.

We have call from Ian Thompson of San Antonio Title (supposedly) to sell time share to Pro Alliance Management. First we have to sign contract and send money to them. Would love to send you all copies of paperwork. My husband is tempted, I am not!!!!

Peachtree and Cincinnati Premier...

BEWARE of a company called International Luxury Events. They are contacting timeshare owners and offering to buy at 60-75% above your purchase price. We confirmed they are not even a real company- and their business location is fraudulent. They have been reported to the FTC, Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Attorney General. They call from phone #'s 323-786-1958, 818-924-2816 with names Brian Wright, David Snidee or Gregory White. But they are CLEARLY trying to imitate someone else, as their English is not great. Potential Spanish accent. Suspected to be in Mexico.

YES!!!! Just dealt with them again today! Received phone calls from the same numbers asking if I was interested in selling my Unlimited Vacation Club timeshare, because they have companies that buy them and send clients there and then write it off. We had to sign a paper and send it back. Come to find they were going to pay us almost double what we paid for it! RED FLAG!! I was then told that I had to pay a $3,500 sales tax to Mexico b/c that's where the company that is buying it is located and I couldn't receive my $21,000 until that was paid. If I was to opt out I would be charged a 12% penalty and it would go into collections if we didn't pay up! Thank God for Google, otherwise I would have considered it since I just lost my job! The best part is that my husband called them back and ripped them a new one and they called me a few days later like nothing happened! They're scamming so many people they don't even know who they talk to! When something seems too good to be true, it usually is!! Don't fall for it!!

I have received frequent calls from Sell my Time share. This is an agressive organization. HANG UP immediately Mr. David is a scam artist and insist that he is doing you a favor and you should be glad he even bother to call. The man harrassed me and I finally got rid of him when I told him I reported him to the FTC and Consumer Fraud. Several months later he called back using a different name...I hung up.

they call me everyday

Anyone heard of international corporate brokers out of Texas? Recent calls with promise of sale but requesting an upfront 10% transfer fee for my puerto Vallarta timeshare. They are sending mr a contract , more to come.

brian- we also have been contacted by ICB , i am still looking for more info

My recent scam experience was from Sam baker at Bell resort sales out of Amarillo, TX. He said he had a buyer for my timeshare. He only asked for $175 for title search and a tax fee. His commission was to be paid for by the buyer. I was to send the money western union to their branch in Daytona beach, fl. He would then send me the contract by fed ex. I had already received a contract by email. Needless to say I took the bait. After he received his money the company website did not exist, the company address was bogus and he does not respond to his phone or email. Seems like there should be more to this scam than $175. If anyone else has experienced this please let me know.

Feminmk. I also received numerous emails from Mr. Baker and I also sent him about the same amount. Just like you, I haven't heard back from him and I he won't respond to emails, txt msgs, and his direct line has a "mailbox full" message. His company line lets me leave a voicemail but no return calls.

BEWARE INTERNATIONAL LUXURY EVENTS calling from 323 786-1958. How they got my HOME number is beyond me. A guy with the last name of Simmons left a message twice. I returned the call because he spoke so fast on the phone I thought is was from my UVC membership that I own. When I called back and told him I already returned the call and left a message, asked why he was again calling and why on my home phone, he said "It's time to pull up your big girl panties and take care of business". I am now online finding out what a piece of crap business this is. As an attorney, it is my hope that some protections will be provided to those sucked in by this fast-talking, disrepectful obvious scammer who would not even tell me the name of the company he was working for. I had to google the number to find them.

Reply company called property connect sent me letter of intent to buy my Uvc membership gave me escrow company transfer group both out of Chicago gave me a contract told me no money out of my pocket at all still scared anybody have any good advice thanks

Hey Tommy, did you ever receive your money. I have had similar experience with Vacation Properties Intl from LA telling me that they have somebody to buy my timeshare......thanks, Y

I'm going through the same thing with property connect

I got the same thing. Property Connect LLC in Chicago. Guy called me then sent the letter of intent. I'm here investigating if this is legit. Trying to figure this out.

We've heard from them too. It's a scam. I searched their address and then came up with a real estate company who manages the building. Their address is a vacant suite. We got so far as speaking with their escrow agent who was insisting on us paying the transfer fee by wire transfer to a bank in Mexico. We refused saying we were willing to complete the transaction but on the basis that all proceeds, including the transfer fee that they agreed to pay, would be paid to our lawyer in trust. They have phoned and objected to this but still sound professional on the phone. The challenge now is to get them to stop calling.

Trying to find out if Regency Consulting Group is a reputable company, they called me about selling my timeshare.

Watch out for offers to buy your timeshare from:
Laura Borchers or Paul Kelleher
They will send you a bad cashier's check (usually $2,900) and ask you to forward a part of the money ($2,400) to an agent Samuel Kaplan or Samuel Boas who is supposed to close the deal. You lose the money forwarded. Fortunately, I got onto the scam before sending any money.

A company called Property connect offered to buy my unlimited vacation club membership for $21,000 just this week. They know too much about my contract. Someone inside unlimited is in on this and giving out member info for this scam. I received a contract and was told a wealthy Hong Kong business wanted the membership. I just would owe a 6% fee. They must be stopped. It's bad enough I bought the membership, now it has introduced more scanners into my life. Who needs this stress

My husband & I were contacted by a company in Ok, Property Management,ML but after contacting the State of Ok we found out they are using this name but they are not a real company. Many complaint have been filled. They are also using another Company Ross Financials in TX, there is No such company in the state. Buyer Beware if it sounds too good it is a Fraud!

Yes, Ross Financials is a fraud. Unfortunately I was a victim of this company as well as Managements Systems Inc.

What did you do when they got you as a victim? My dad recently became a victim of Project Mgmt ML. What can we do now?

A guy supposedly with Property Connect in Chicago has called me 3 times in the past
week offering $21,000 to purchase my Unlimited Vacation Club membership. It sounded too good to be true and I suspected it was a scam but he has rather convincing answered all of my questions about why a company from Hong Kong would want to pay me double what I paid for the membership. Thanks to all of you who have posted comments about this definitely being a scam. I won't let him waste anymore of my time. I agree with Patty above, it is bad enough that I fell for the sales pitch and bought the membership in the first place. I sure don't need further stress about it.

Property Connect, Chicago and Transfer Group Inc, Carpentersville (Escrow company) seem to be involved in a SCAM. They offered to buy my Unlimited Vacation Club membership for more than I paid for. They definitely know all the details about the contract! Agree with Patty - someone inside UVC, or former UVC employees must be involved. These people MUST be stopped!! DO NOT wire any money!!! DO NOT believe them, even if they sound very professional and give you Broker License No., etc., etc. It is a SCAM! Please complain to UVC and also send a complaint to the Attorney General and to BBB. Let's stop them!

I got the same offer as patty. The salesman on the phone was obnoxious (high pressure). They keep calling me, but i don't answer. The offer is nice, but it seems to require 6% from me; conditions are unclear at this point (they have asked me to sign a letter of intent, which I have not done. Has anyone out there actually gone through with the offer? Did you get scammed?

Yes - my husband and I went through with Property Connect. It's absolutely a scam. We are now out over 10K. We're following up with the Attorney General and the FBI.

A brief update. My husband just spoke with James Ross (his contact information is easily located through the real estate company that sponsors his license)- he does not work for Property Connect and has never worked for Property Connect. If anyone else has been scammed by Property Connect, please call the FBI, the FTC, and the Attorney General. These people need to be jailed. Not only have they stolen money, but they have stolen an identity. This is not okay.

I got the same thing last week from Property Connect LLC from Illinois for my UVC membership. The agent, Candice Cole, even offered me their Illinois Secretary of State business license number (which exists). I got the whole story about the Hong Kong company and how I just needed to sign the letter of intent. My funds would be held in escrow until the due diligence was complete, then I would receive my money MINUS the 6% commission. Sounds easy. No cost to me. But, now thanks to this forum I know that they will tell me my money won't be released from escrow until I send some fees or taxes. I had been contacted the week prior by another company, Property Management & Advertising Consultants Inc. from Mobile Alabama. The agent was David Gomez. I had mentioned to Candice at Property Connect LLC that I had a better offer from David at MAC Inc. and she insisted that I should check on their business and brokers license in Alabama because she is sure they are a fraud. I checked. They are registered in Alabama just like Property Connect LLC is in Illinois. The Alabama outfit had the EXACT same story as the Illinois outfit; even a Hong Kong buying company and no cash upfront with commisions taken from the escrow final sale. They are all aggressive and seem super sketchy. So, we all know about Property Connect LLC in Chicago. Has anyone dealt with Management & Advertising Consultants Inc. from Mobile, Alabama?

Very interesting......and frustrating. I have been dealing with Property Connect and Transfer Group for the past several weeks -- trying to sell a UVC contract to a Chinese buyer. They have sent lots of official looking docs, including a form purportedly from the Mexican SAT (tax) office to cover a 16% sales tax, and an insurance invoice (on AIG letterhead) for a premium of $3528 to cover Banco de Mexico "underwriting" risk associated with their approval of the wire transfer of funds to me.
They claim that all this is being reimbursed by the Buyer and they are supposed to be sending me a bank statement today to verify the funds.

I have already wired $1750 to Transfer Group, which is supposed to cover a 10% transfer fee to UVC, and an additional $1850 to cover a portion of the 16% SAT tax. Now they are asking for the insurance premium mentioned above. While I would love to get rid of this contract, I don't feel very smart right now! Anyone else?

Exact same thing for us. Don't send any more money.

I think they will call back and offer you more money! - same happened to me. These people call under different company names and they change their own names frequently. I got calls from a James A. Ross Property Connect LLC in Chicago. I checked his Broker License no. and it exists…?? Got also calls from a Tim or Jim Clarke, Property Connect LLC. Don't know anything about Management & Advertising Consultants, - but received calls from Mark Mendoza of Mid-West Global Advisors several weeks ago with a similar offer. According to other comments on the internet, they might be involved in the same scam. A note to Unlimited Vacation Club (UVC) members; Received 2 calls from an apparent UVC agent last week inquiring membership details, etc. Called UVC to check if they did initiated the call, they said NO.

I'm in the middle of the same deal with Property Connect and Transfer Group. It all sounds too good to be true (they're offering double what I paid for my timeshare). It was supposed to be no money up front, but now they want the penalty fee that I'll be charged for selling by UVC, which they claim they will reimburse to me. This thing has seemed fishy all along and given the thick accents and clearly fake names the reps are giving me, plus the sketchiness of their company's physical presence, I'm going to pull the plug. Too bad I already spent $600 on lawyer fees to check this out before they asked for money up front.

PHONE NUMBER BEING USED BY PROPERY CONECT LLC IS (872)225-0748. I agree with they must be calling so many they can't keep their info straight. They do call persistently. Hong Kong company is legit but probably doesn't even know they are being used. UVC insider sounds correct as they have every bit of my info. I had researched earlier but not found this blog. The last call sounded to be overseas and the information was confused, so it was time to check further. Thanks everyone..didn't lose a dime to this and with my way of speaking they won't be calling back after our next contact. They are criminal it's no holds barred now.

Thanks for the information. I have called UVC and they said that the owners of the membership is public knowledge by law so Property Connect can get your information by requesting it. I looked at the
Property Connect web site and the bbb of Illinois and there was nothing about them positive or negative. I am glad that I did more research and will not do business with them. The last thing I want is to fall for a scam. I am wondering if there is any place to sell my UVC membership without getting a scam.

Here is the wesite for Property Connect LLC

We won't post the websites, per our commenting policy. But, you can file a complaint online with the FTC and provide all the information you would like to report, including websites you believe are promoting fraudulent practices.

Same, Same, Same- I did sign letter of intent and then was sent contract. They refer to two deposits- one purchase proceeds and one "reimbursement" of commissions. Who pays sales commission before the sale? I was so looking forward to getting out of the UVC contract. Oh well.

For the last month a David Gomez has been calling with an offer to buy my membership with no upfront cost but with only a 6% commission withheld from the sales price. Too good to be true? Also, when I asked him how he got my name and number he was vague in answering.

For the last month a David Gomez of Management and Advertising Consultants, Inc. of Mobile, AL has been calling with an offer to buy my membership with no upfront cost but with only a 6% commission withheld from the sales price. Too good to be true? Also, when I asked him how he got my name and number he was vague in answering.

We have been dealing with the same sort of thing only the company name is MAC inc. and the individuals name is Victor Torres.
He did address some of my questions. There is a time frame that they have so this all needs to be done quickly.
No cost to us at all. The buyer will absorb the cost for the balance we have owing on our UVC membership (that was not such a great move).
I had replied to an email and yet he stilled called persistently.When I told him that I sent him an email he said that he had been too busy to read all of his emails because so many people were taking advantage of this offer.
After reading all of this, it must be the same idea just a different company.

Too good to be true I guess it is.
Guess we will just stick with the membership and try not to get sucked in again.

Thanks

I have now confirmed that the official looking docs that were sent were fake, including an invoice on AIG letterhead (also confirmed by AIG fraud dept. to be a fake). I have told them that I know this, they are not stealing any more of my money, and not to call. Hopefully the FTC and the Illinois Attorney General will take it from here.....and shut these thieves down.

Thanks everyone for posting! I was skeptical so I google Property Connec and buying UVC contract and found all of you! Haven't done anything but sign intent form! They do make the contract look promising... although they didn't ask for money upfront and do mention the 6%, after reading all of your comments, I am going to send back not interested in selling! Thanks all and I hope I can help others not to get scam... twice!!!

I had the same issues with MAC INC from Mobile, Alabama. I sent them an e-mail with reference to ftc.gov and timeshare scam. I have not heard back from them. The e-mail was sent by RICHARD THOMPSON

"Thank you for considering the re-sale of your vacation membership.

Attached is the sales proposal we spoke on the phone about. Please read it, sign it, and attach a copy of proof of ownership.

This can be the front page of your contract, a maintenance fee, or ownership certificate.

Please make sure to write across it (void non-negotiable) for your own protection then email or fax it back to us as soon as possible.

Thank you, I look forward to doing business with you."

Then, they sent a PDF with a "contract", etc.

Thank goodness for Google. They have morphed into another company called Estate Exchange Group LLC out of Chicago. Selling Unlimited Vacations Club membership is a scam. My calls were from James Strana from Estate Exchange Group LLC. There are typos on their website, which looks like it was set up overnight just to look professional. This is an Unlimited Vacations selling scam. I am so glad I was able to read other people's stories above and avoid the pitfall. If it sounds too good to be true...

James Strana was the guy at Property Connect that I was dealing with.... I doubt that the Chicago address/phone is anything but a call forwarding number. I suspect they are all in Mexico....enjoying our money!? Glad I could be so stupid if it helps anyone else.

I am so grateful I checked. It seems that I have also fallen prey to Property Connect llc and James Ross, Broker. Their timing was perfect. I was just wondering how I was going to manage my debt load when I got this fortuitous phone call offering to buy my time share at Dreams part of UVC. I'm excited about this offer! Well negotiations have been going on for a while. The first time they called they told me the value was 36,700, next time they told me it was 37 500 and when they sent the letter of intent it said 32,000. After yet another conversation with Lucy, James Ross's personal assistant, she said I'm just going to send you the contract, sign it, scan it and email it back to me. Well I had trouble with my scanner, (1st obstacle) I asked a friend if she could help me with the scanning (2nd obstacle) So I went to Office Depot, although they could do what I wanted they couldn't have it until the next at 3 P.M. (3rd obstacle) They told me to go to another place around the corner, I couldn't find it, (4th obstacle) so I went home. My plan was to go to the P.O. and fax it to them. I had to look for their fax number. (5th obstacle)

I just want to share that I am not usually a suspicious person and I'm not one for details or checking. The next part is kind of interesting because for some reason when I came to my desk I decided to check into them. There it was. The first thing was a report on BBB Illinois. Hmmm I thought to myself, "all these obstacles were for a reason." Now I'm just so grateful that I checked and that the "obstacles" were there for a reason. I think my intuition kicked in and I was saved! Thank you Universe!! I'm so sorry some of you got caught up and lost money. Once again the warning of "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true." prevails. These people have gone to a great deal of trouble to come off as legitimate, obtaining a Brokers License and all.

Thank you all for your constant updates. Estate exchange group Ltd contacted my boyfriend via phone and sent me the email. All sounded too good to be true so I Google them and nothing came up. After digging a little further I found this trail. I got the email on Oct 8th so they are definitely on the move under a new name...beware all.

I too received a call from James Strana Of Estate Exchange Group LLC in Chicago. He emailed me a letter of intent which I signed and returned. I'm expecting the same progression as all of you, but thanks to Google won't get scammed in this deal. I'm actually quite happy with my UVC membership, but the potential of selling it for more than I paid was intriguing. Luckily I'm suspicious enough to do some homework and glad I found you.

I have now received two phone calls and an email from Estate Exchange Group LLC and one from Vacation Resort Experts. Both companies actually had the audacity to call me in the same day. When I told the first one I wasn't interested he insisted on sending me an email. When I told the 2nd caller that someone else had just called me she said that was from an imposter company but they were legit. When I continued to grill her on how they got my contact information the caller, simply put her hand on the receiver instead of putting me on hold and said to someone beside her "she's asking me how I got her information and sh*t like that". The person beside her said, "don't worry about it and tell her you will call her back". Received the 3rd call from Estate Exchange Group today and when I told him I was currently reading about him on the internet, he denied it was their company. I hung up on him and he called me right back, claiming the call had been lost. I told him I hung up and he was not to call again. He still continued to talk right through me about how the offer for my UVC membership was a once in a lifetime offer that I shouldn't refuse. I just hung up. Don't get sucked in!

I was contacted by the Estate Exchange Group LLC who also sent me a letter of intent for a little more than double what I paid for it. On top of that I got a call from another guy on Friday from Chicago named Yvonne that was a broker looking to buy time shares both within a couple days of each other? Must be scamming is good right now.

That Guy hit the nail on the head! Go look at the Website for Property Connect LLC and Estate Exchange Group LLC. They are practically identical. Thanks for the heads up!

Thank you all for sharing your stories. We've had 2 conversations and have a contract in hand they sent. All the same and matches everything you've shared, but a different company name...International Trading Group. Illinois. Thanks for saving me money and more heartache talking to them!

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