Be on the lookout for timeshare resale phonies

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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.

I received a letter prepared by Driftwood Inc out of Detroit, MI, announcing their intention to purchase vacation memberships at UVC. A scam, I'm sure.

I received the same thing this week. I'm also sure it's a scam, but I think UVC is selling lists. They knew a LOT about me and my contract. They knew how much I paid, owed, membership level, email address, mailing address, and obviously phone number. I looked through my paperwork and i didn't sign anything to share my information.

Received calls from driftwood in out of Detroit. Had two different offers for my UVC membership. Too pressured so I got cold feet! Glad I did after read all of these posts! Thank you.

I wish I had used Google. Driftwood got me for a substantial amount of money. Phone numbers still active but no phone calls answered or messages returned. Ouch! Do not make the same mistake. This was an elaborate Scam with a guy in detroit acting as the agent, another guy in Alabama acting as the titlecompany and another accomplice in Mexico receiving wire transfers. The had active business websites and everything.

Just curious...what did you do to research licenses and contracts of the persons that approached you?

Interesting International wire tranfer fraud,,forex,,trading Mexico has gotten worse without,insurance laws,, Matt from R.C.I. gave no paperwork abt the promissory note. MatT liked baseball, ,would not explain their company address in Florida. Man on phone Litterally ," conference call", ,,just like Grant Cardone,,type. Empty promises and money up front,spoke," 45 days until we reel them in" name and address withheld

VACATION RESORT EXPERTS IS A SCAM. STAY AWAY FROM THEM AND DO NOT SEND THEM ANY MONEY AS THEY ARE A SCAM COMPANY SET UP TO STEAL YOUR MONEY. THEY ARE CONS WITH A CAPITAL "C". AND THEY ARE USING MY STORE'S ADDRESS OF 12003 S. PULASKI RD. TO RUN THEIR SCAMS. WE ARE NOT AFFILIATED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM WITH THESE SCAMMERS. STAY AWAY FROM VACATION RESORT EXPERTS, THEY ARE RUNNING THEIR BUSINESS FROM MEXICO AND THEY ARE A COMPLETE AND TOTAL SCAM.

It looks like Vacation Resorts Experts wwebsite is officially closed down. Sometimes the good guys win. Yipee!

I just received a call where they would take care of my timeshare. I would owe $3,000 difference. The website I was given today was vacation idiom. Gives very little detail! Thanks for the heads-up!

But beware. These "companies" will open in new name. Don't trust Gold Coast Real Estate Inc.(New York) or Asesga Assoc. Marketing (OK). I checked date of website creation using Google and both less than 3 month old. The 1st offered $28K but asked if we wanted money via direct deposit or certified cashier's check. When we chose later, they came back stating the purchaser bought enough and no longer interested. The 2nd company wanted us to pay $3076 out of pocket fees. Did not persue. Also, there were spelling mistakes on web page. FORMS DO APPEAR LIGIT but offers too good to be valid!

Thanks a million for your post. I have been contacted by GOLD COAST REAL ESTATE as well. They are working with GLOBAL ALPHA CAPITAL, which is claiming to be an escrow company. Offer sounds too good to be true. They are using brokers' names with NYC licenses. They will direct you to go to eAccessNY to validate their licenses. They also sent a statement from Citibanamex, which seems legit. However, the logo is copied from another source, which led me to believe that it wasn't true letterhead. These people are good. Everything seems legit. However, if you paid $10k for your timeshare, and someone is offering you $45k for it... something stinks. Especially when you can purchase these same timeshares from Ebay for pennies on the dollar. Everyone, please beware...

E. Jackson- did you go through with your timeshare?

Hey, what happened with your deal with GOLD COAST REAL ESTATE and GLOBAL ALPHA CAPITAL? They have been contacting me for months now, sent a contract which I refused to sign, and now a fake-looking statement from Citibanamex - showing a large deposit in "my" account- - amazing since I haven't even signed a contract!! Letterhead has correct address, but fake phone numbers. All their wanting now is that I send $4500 for a Mexican tax ID number to do business in Mexico . . . .
How did you fare?

We have been receiving the same request from GOLD COAST REAL ESTATE and GLOBAL ALPHA CAPITAL. It is crazy how persistent they are and how elaborate the whole scam is. Luckily I found this blog and we have not lost any money. Thanks for sharing.

We were also contacted by Gold Coast Real Estate and unfortunately my husband signed the contract and paid the $3700 they requested in order to complete the transaction. Now they are saying that we need to pay an additional $8000 to pay for a Mexico state tax. we have not done this, and have received a phone call from someone in Mexico stating that if we do not pay this tax, they will put a lien on our resort so we will not be able to use our time there, and also was told that if we traveled to Mexico there was a possibility that we may be detained at customs re: this tax issue. Needless to say, we were scammed - of course, we are not going to pay the additional $8000 and hopefully this will calm down soon.

CHICAGO MARKETING ASSOCIATES AND GOLDEN TEMPLE FINANCIAL. NEITHER OF THEIR FICTITIOUS COMPANIES ARE LISTED WITH DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTES NEITHER ARE EITHER LICENSED TO SELL REALESTATE. I AM A REAL ESTATE BROKER AND MY HUSBAND IS AN ATTORNEY. TJE CONTRACTS SEEM REAL AMD THEY KNOW HOW TO SOUND LIKE THEY KNOWS HOW TO PROCESS A FILE. DAMN THEY ARE GOOD. THEY ALMOST GOT OUR CLIENT. THEY SENT CONTRACTS THAT LOWER LEGIT THE WHOLE BIT. THERE WERE A FEW FLAGS ON THE FIELD. ONE IS THEY REQUIRED WHAT SEEMED TO BE A 10% FEE CLAIMING THEY WERE MAINTENANCE FEES.

HI HOW ARE U??? MY NAME IS ANDRES I WAS READING YOU POST AND I NOTICED YOU MENTIONED CHICAGO MARKETING ASSCOCIATES. 1 MONTH AGO I WAS CALLED BY ONE OF THEIR "EMPLOYEES" TELLING ME THAT THEY GOT AN OFFER FROM A PERSON FROM THE U.S TRYING TO BUY MY MEMBERSHIP IN PUERTO VALLARTA.

THEY TOLD ME TO TRANSFER $4000 INTO A MEXICAN ACCOUNT AND I DID THAT, THEY SEND ME A CONTRACT AND I SIGNED IT, NOW THEY ARE CLAMING 30% OF THE TOTAL TRANSFER OR THEY ARE GOING TO SUE ME. MY QUESTION IS. ITS TRUE THIS COMPANY IS PHONIE OR FAKE?? THEY KEEP CALLING ME . CAN U HELP ME WITH THIS?? THANKS FOR ALL YOU HELP REGARDS

Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you check on the reseller.

Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if there are complaints on file. You also can search online for complaints about the company.

If you have a written contract, read it and see what it says about paying the company. You could ask a lawyer or real estate professional to help you understand the contract.

Sorry to here this. We were contacted by first brokers inc claiming they had buyer for our PV timeshare in Mexico for 29k. They work with title company called global federal trust all a scam. they work together took us for 13,329. Hace reported them. Other yo better business bureau and state attorney general office in Missouri and in Alabama. Hope they catch the scum. I think they are all in Mexico. Close the. Orders. Vite tfump.

Were you able to recover your funds? Who did you contact to report them?

I have received the same proposal from first brokers Inc. Glad that I found your post if not they rip off my money

You must have spoken to the same people I did. These guys called me at my office to let me know. They had a buyer (who they keep anonymous) for my timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. They knew the property and everything. Anyway they sent me a contract. No upfront money, yet. Once I signed the contract and sent it on to them, I received an email from the so called Title Company saying they needed $3,986.00 to be wired for the Mexican Transfer Fee. I did that. After contacting my local police and filing a report with them. The next call comes a day later saying they need $8,000.for the 19% IVA tax. Oh by the way we have good news! You will be getting you $4,000. back, they sent the wire this morning. I'm thinking OK, this is good.! Well no money showed up. Them I receive a call from the "Title Company" saying we will not be able to return your 4,000 until we receive your $8,000. and that they have sent me a revisesd accounting and wiring instructions. Needless to say I am not sending $8,000. To add to my loss. The company I was taken by called themselves Worldwide Property Solutions, Inc. & the Title Company goes by Premier Financial Services LLC
Good luck and tell your friends .

Hi, Did you file the case against these people? I had been contacted by International Real Estate solutions Inc and they asked me to wire 4200 in Mexico account, but how do you get your money back? Can you please advise if you received your money back. Thanks.

Have you heard any more? I will be considering to sue as they bled me dry.

WE are needing to do the same thing please keep me posted.

Please report this to the FTC at  FTC.gov/complaint. You can provide information about the company, what it promised, and what you received. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations nationwide.

You can also contact your  State Attorney General and the Attorney General in the business' home state to report your experience. If you sent money by wire transfer, you can call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or the MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

We've been approached by Capital Management Business Consultants out of Colorado Springs, Co about selling our timeshare. No upfront fees, they take 5% at closing which is set for October 10th. Website looks legit, nothing on BBB, spoke with Colorado Sec of State Dept of Corps who show in good standing since 1990s. But phone calls can't go through and voicemail box is full. Scam, right? Has anyone else had experience with them?

I have been contacted also and am skeptical if it’s a scam. They say no upfront fees but I wonder if they will ask for money later on. Did you go thru with resale? Curious if it’s a scam or not from Capital Managment Business Consultants. Does any one else have info on this company or even United Escrow and Financial Services?

Was wondering if this company is legit also. They made me a similar offer

I've been sent a similar contract. Did you accept the offer?

We've been approached by Property Investment LLC, North Carolina USA, about selling our timeshare. They said they got my info from a list that is made public for all people that have purchased timeshares or Vacation club memberships. Same story, No upfront fees, they take 7% at closing of the sale. Their website looks legit, I tried to search them and found nothing on BBB, spoke with the Sec of State Dept , who didn’t have any complaints with that company name. Their website says 2018 as last date updated so not sure if that is when it was built for them. I tried to google their name but nothing comes up as it is such a general term that you would spend days searching for a reference to their company. They are offering triple what we paid for the timeshare 7 years ago. I googled the address he provided and it is a strip mall. I didn’t see his business name when I did the Street View and when I questioned him, he said he was located ‘inside the mall’ but it was the kind that didn’t have an ‘inside’. I told him to do a contract and I would show it to my Lawyer before I signed it. I also asked for a copy of his business license. He never did send me the formal contract and the phone calls stopped.
Has anyone else had experience with Property Investment LLC, North Carolina ??

We got an offer from them. I was skeptical on the phone. They told me to google them, did it and got here. Looking them up seems legit but it’s always too good to be true. They didn’t ask a lot of questions about my timeshare that I would consider to probably be important. Did anyone get further with this them?

Also received CMBC's offer to repurchase weeks for thousands of dollars. This is all very suspicious. Their website looks legit on surface. But why do they have funny characters in place of apostrophes in their text? Unless these only appear on my screen, they would have cleaned that up. Nice photos but no details of their financial services. No details about the company's officers. Names, positions, photos, bios, etc. Only the CEO's name on the repurchase offer, Mr. Swenson. Can't find him on Linkedin. Company was incorporated 03/05/98, dissolved 01/01/2001, and reinstated 06/01/2018. So the company ceased to exist for 17 years then was resurrected by Mr. Swenson, but it's very difficult to find information on him. I also called the building management where they represent to be located - 100 S Tejon St, Suite 1100, and was told CMBC is not one of their tenants. Just for kicks, I'm going to send a test envelope to their Colorado Springs address by mail to the attention of the representative who called me. When I receive that undeliverable envelope back, I'll call them by phone. It'll be interesting.

I also have received an offer from Business Capital Management and also noticed the errors on the website. If you read the “about” page the wording is terrible and definitely sounds like whatever they intended to write there was translated from another language to English. I called the number on the offer and told them that I happened to be in Colorado Springs on business and could stop by their office. I did this because when I googled their address and suite # an attorney’s office comes up. The woman responded saying “wow! What a coincidence and chatted with me about the weather and where she moved from etc.” she didn’t seem panicked at all about the prospect of me stopping by. She couldn’t make an appt to see me until mid-November but was willing to set up an appointment with me at their apledged offices. I find it very suspicious that Robert Swenson would not appear on linked in and also that they claim 20 years in business but the website copywrite is 2018 and is worded SO poorly. No actual names of people anywhere on their site. Seems very odd that the nice ladies I talked to would be scam artists though. They were both so personable and comfortable sounding and also very casual in conversation. One named “Ava” said that she suggested that I bring any paperwork from them to my attorney for review. Maybe they think no one will do that but it will create a false sense of security? Who knows!?’ More info from anyone who digs into this is appreciated!!

We also received a phone call and then an email with an 'offer' from CMBC. James Lopez sent the email, Swenson
'signed' the offer. Same suspicions as you have Carlo and my next step was going to contact one of the tenants housed in the same building as supposedly CMBC is housed. The creepy part is the fact that they got the vacation weeks information and contact information. I think I'm going to reach out to the fraud division in CO to report them.

I was approached by capital management about buying some of my vacation weeks. Wondering if this was scans? Any advice would be helpful. Thank you
John

Hello I believe my dad got scammed by a company in ID. Does your husband know how we can pursue them?

A fake website uses Genesis Investment Properties Inc. and it's address to cheat people money.  Since Genesis has no bad record, you can't find anything wrong about this company.  Also the company has no website which makes it a good choice for the cons to turn it into a scam company.  The phone number and email address at the webpage are not Genesis'. The scam company"s webpage:  genesisipi. com

i have been approched by this company to purchase my propertty in Mexico for 112,000. They just sent me a sales agreement which i will not sign because they want a transfer fee sent before they continue the process

i am in the process selling a time share in cancun with GENESIS who has another company SIGMA PARTNERS INC are in charge of the escrow funds and send me the wire transfers first one,RFC TAX$3500 nextNONE FAMILY TRANSFER TAX $2950 NEXT customs clearance number $6230 and the latest LEGAL AND RECORDING $5976 all these amouts are in USD each time a transfer took place i got a official Mexican receipt with government stamp all the wire transfers went to a Mexican name and bank. so it all looked legal.

the CEO of genesis is ROBERT THOMAS the head escrow officer is CHRISTOPHER DONALD LOMBARDI 15515 san fernando mission blvd,mission hills CA 91345.genesis also promised me i would be reimbursed for all the amounts upon closing that i have mentioned in this statement.the last payment i refused to pay as they were putting on the pressure to pay with in 24hours.how does a person get that money back? also i must have dealt with at least 10 different associates they made it seem professional i hope this helps anyone else goin thru this.dec 9 2016.

If you have contact information for the person you sent the money to you can contact him and ask for a refund, or contact local law enforcement. You may want to report him to the wire transfer company you used. You can also report the person and company to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint, and to your state Attorney General’s office.

Anyone heard about "Royal travel group"? We received a coiple voicemails saying they want to buy our time shares, which we were forced to buy under preasure several years back and never used it at all and just want to forget about it. Now some strangers called us trying to buy our time share? Need some insight into this.

Read about buying and selling a timeshare. It has important tips, including this:

If a company approaches you and offers to resell your timeshare:

  • Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if there are complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints. Type in the name of the business that called you and the word "complaint" or "review."

I just received a call from worldwide travel events stating that they have a buyer for my mayan palace timeshare. They said he will offer me $45,000. I asked how they got my onfo and they stated it was given to them from a group in mexico that pulls records the the government. I was sent an offer but i had a feeling that it was a scam so i googled about the company with bbb and found this info.

This message is for Scam Watcher who was contacted by Worldwide Travel Events. Did you find out if that company was legitimate and the offer real? I have been contacted by the same company and an trying to find out if this is a scam or not.

It seems they are a scam, they sent me a contract from a Fake title company. The vacation property confirmed that title company was fake and a scam

HI there, was the little company called " Emerald title and Escrow llc" by chance?

Did anyone reply to you yet? They called me today and are made an offer of $41k....sounds way to good to be true!

I got a call from the same group, Royal Travel Group. I tried to get information on them using the Atlanta Better Business Bureau. I can't find any information. I am not going to do business with them .

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