Timeshare resellers & quick-money promises

Con artists are adept at selling — or selling you on  — just about anything. When it comes to timeshare resale services, they may claim to have a buyer for your property. Or that they can sell your place quickly and for a good price. But first, you’ll have to pay a hefty fee.

As part of an international crackdown on timeshare resale scams, the FTC and state law enforcement officials are going after timeshare resellers who took thousands of dollars in upfront fees from consumers after falsely claiming they could sell or rent the timeshares quickly. Today, the FTC announced settlements with Universal Timeshare, Resort Property Depot, and Resort Resolution Trust.

These companies violated the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule by making false claims about their services in telephone pitches to timeshare owners. Universal Timeshare also called people whose phone numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry. Some consumers paid as much as $4,000 in so-called taxes, closing costs, and processing fees to these companies — and got nothing in return.

Before you allow someone to sell your timeshare:

  1. Check them out before you agree to pay them any money. See if the state Attorney General, local consumer protection agencies, or the Better Business Bureau in the company’s home state have complaints about them on file. Then, search online by entering the company name and the word “complaints” or “scam.”
  1. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers or agents. Check with the Real Estate Commission in the state where your timeshare is located to make sure the company has a current license.
  1. Get all terms in writing before you agree to anything. That includes services the company will perform; timing of the sale; fees and commissions; and cancellation and refund policies. If a company says you have to act now or you might miss out on a buyer, it’s not a company you want to do business with.
  1. Consider doing business only with a company that gets paid after the timeshare is sold. And don’t wire money or pay in cash.
  1. Be alert to a repeat scam. If a company offers to help get your money back from a timeshare resale scam  but wants you to pay them before they do anything for you, walk away. This is a classic setup for another scam.   

Read about timeshare vacation plans and selling a timeshare through a reseller to learn more. And be sure to report these and other scams to the FTC.

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

Comments

Unfortunately, I am one of those who has got taken for about $25,000. Would love to know how to get some of my money back as this was out entire savings and we are over 65.

what are the resources I can tap on. Any insight on actions that can be taken will be greatly appreciated.

I can attest to how aggressive these scammers can be because they attacked me when I owned my time share. Oh, by the way, timeshares them selves are the one of the worst scams there are for many reasons:
1. Monthly fees
2. I could never find an available unit when I wanted to go on vacation.
3. People deliberately abuse these units because there not invested in keeping them up.
4. Additional fees for building maintenance can occur at anytime.

I have just found another private reseller named Dean Prange. He is a definited scam artist. Please try to find him. He owes me 800.00

Oh, I wish wish wish I'd found your message when I'd first checked him out. He got my $$$ too. I reported him to Ripoff Report. Any other publicity we can put out there would be super.

Universal Timeshare convinced me to send them almost $5500 in the past year for expenses of selling my timeshare. I reported it to the FCC and got a complaint # but nothing ever happened. I got a call from them today 7-24-14 to send an additional $1000 for BOA to release the check and approve payment of same to my bank. How do I get assistance from you or at least a call back.

I need help...my partner of 10 years suddenly passed of a massive heart attack, we were purchasing a time share together. I now can not afford it and want to get out of this. What do I do? I've tried to sell no luck as of yet. Timeshare harrase me aobut 10 days past due. They constantly call and leave messages for him on my voice mail....constant pain and reminder....any suggestions?

If you just bought it there may be a pending time before it is completed. They won't tell you that information but you can look into your contract. You may still be able to get out of it.

While the tips mentioned are good, there is a much simpler and easy to understand rule for timeshare owners to follow: DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH ANY PERSON OR ENTITY THAT INITIATES CONTACT. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Vacation Specialists International out of Minneapolis, Minnesota offered to sell my timeshare and took me for over $9k before my credit union stopped me from sending an additional $5K+. Now they want $2500 so they can get my money "released" from a so called account in my name in Mexico at Scotiabank. No such account!Scotiabank, MX is investigating this scam.

I was taken for a ride as well. Vacation Resort Experts out of Illinois got me good. I have been dealing with these clowns for 2 months, in which I wired over $5000 to their bogus companies. Like "Dumb" I wired some money through Scotiabank as well. With all this being said, how did you contact Scotiabank and how do I get their number as well to investigate?

You can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. You can also contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in your state, and in the state where the company is located.

I just got a call from VRE Vacation Resort Experts called me after I sent an email letting him know that I want my money back due to the fact that I keep getting requests to wire more money. I told him I was sick of it and want my money back. He said that he would refund the money already wired to whatever bank Scotiabank and/or Santander Bank. I will let you know if or when this happens

If someone promises to give you a refund and you give them your bank account or credit card number, they may take your money instead of repaying you.

You can contact the state Attorney General in your state and the state where the company is located to file a complaint. They may have more information about the business you've been talking with.

I would never ever give my credit card number out. I have a bank account for this transaction at a zero balance so it can not be cleaned out by this company. I have my other accounts somewhere else.

I just spoke to the "attorney" from AVG, a "Mr. Fernandez". He actually picked up the phone. I explained to him that I wanted out of the deal in progress and he confirmed that Alex Garcia of VRE did contact him and said I wanted to terminate the transaction based on a third (and final) wire transactions for "registering the unit with Mexico". I explained that I don't own it because Americans cannot own personal or corporate property in Mexico, but can lease it for 99 years. He said that he would begin the paperwork to refund the two wires I sent to Santander Bank.

We will see how long this takes to complete. I told him I need the money wired back by the end of the week or beginning of next. Hopefully, this will happen. I doubt it, but one can only dream

Have just finished "dealing" with a timeshare selling agent who told me he had a client "in hand" ready to buy our timeshare. Yea right! I let him hang himself and then told him to......in the lake!
Do NOT deal with Leaders Group Services out of Orlando, Fl. Must say, Orlando seems to be a hot bed to bogus timeshare sellers.

A person saying they were with Property Pro Reality called unsolicited to say they had a buyer for my time share in Mexico. Caller had a Ph# in Illinois and worked with the "company" Epcon international Inc, also in Illinois. Had a buyer in Mexico set to purchase and no upfront costs. They were very proffessional about it and emailed/called with valid numbers and had a bogus rep from the resort I own at with a phone in California.
Thought I would see how far they would go with the No Fees gig. They actually sent copies of 2 mexico money orders for "escrow" and then gave me instructions for a wire transfer to Mexico for "fees and taxes"---This is where I called their Game. The Mexico bank is real, but cannot see WHO the account belongs to. They did their homework and this is a very sophisticated scam...Now it is time to turn the tables--they DID NOT get any money, and I saved all the documents and ph/email for investigators !

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