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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

Has anyone been in contact with a company named Empire City Brokerage in New York and Massachusetts ? They want to buy my UVC membership, using a title company in L.A. call Demand and Escrow, llc. Money is being held in a bank in Mexico called Citibanamex, no fees or money to be paid, until you close. However the bank statement that they provided doesn't jive. I call the bank directly and the employee could not verify the account, nor did the phone numbers match that were on the bank statement to the real bank. Also the title company does not have a Producers license readily available, they could only provided their llc, which doesn't mean diddly squat... They actually use names of registered real estate agents, and they all could win an academy award with their lies. Any responses would be appreciated, since I would like to protect anyone else from the potential scam, if I did sell, I want it to be legal, and actually factual. Read all the other post, and I hope this helps someone !!!

I had a similar experience. Too many red flags. Avoid.

I was contacted by Empire City Brokerage who represented they had a buyer for our timeshare in Cancun. They requested that we sign an "application" for a trust account into which the "buyer" would deposit the funds from the purchase. The "application" is on a form Citibanamex. We did that and were advised we would receive a welcome package from an escrow company in New York. We have not yet been asked for money as other appear to have been here, but rather been advised the buyer would cover all costs and taxes required in the sale and by the Mexican government. This all sounds too familiar and like a scam. Any thoughts? Are there other similar experiences? Who do we report these activities to if this is indeed a scam?

Hi Ray
I currently own a timeshare at UVC membership at Cancun, Mexico. One agent from Empire City contacted me to buy my membership for a very good deal. A request to send my consent to Demand and Escrow LLC that I have not yet responded to. They have not asked me to deposit any money or asking for any money. The agent says, the deal will be closed only after the money is transferred into my escrow account. It is sounding too simple to believe.

How did you transaction coming along?

Regards
Raja

Ray, did you ever continue your transaction with Empire City Brokerage? They contacted me back in late November 2019 and was suckered into their too-good-to-be true transaction (i.e. sale of my vacation membership). I feel naive and gullible and hope no one goes through the same; they should be closed. I lost a total of $25,000...(yes, I could kick myself)...I stopped communication with them in February 2020 and out of the blue recently got contacted- this time by the "CEO"- to close the transaction. Nope, bye-bye. You caused too much anxiety for me, Mr. CEO. Anyhow, trying to find a way to get my money back. Don't know if I ever will.

We were contacted by travellink out of the Scandinavia countrys, about buying our UVC timeshare. Do u have any info on them. Good or bad ?

am dealing with them and still ask for more money.Has anyone have anythimg good to say about the outcome?

Can anyone share knowledge or experience selling their timeshare to eDreams based in Spain? I would appreciate it, thanks!

Hi, I was curious to hear if you ever go any information on eDreams out of Spain? I have a timeshare offer and am skeptical of this offer. Please respond with what you found out.

thanks Janine

is Kalota real estate legit in selling your timeshare

We were contacted by World Management and Promotions Inc., located in Bloomington, MN, and they wanted to purchase some of our weeks at the Palace resorts. Claimed they had clients wanting to attend a PGA event in Cancun/Playacar area. They gave us links to check out their license in Minnesota. Everything looks legit. BBB had no complaints filed. The offer was way more than we paid for the timeshare. When they asked for $7,600 to secure the weeks for their client, we balked. They had very realistic answers for all of our questions. They sent us information to wire the funds through Crystal-Title with the assurance that the funds would be returned to us after the sale closed. The wire address was in Puerto Vallarta. When I checked the websites and license, it again looks legit. However, since I had been concerned that this could be a scam, I googled the address for Crystal-Title and found that the business at the Savage, MN address was indeed a title company but NOT Crystal-Title. I called the title company listed on the property and was informed that Crystal-Title had been using their address and was fraudulent. They had had many calls from people AFTER the timeshare holders had already wired funds to Mexico. Beware of any calls that sound too good to be true, even though they look legit. World Management and Promotions and Crystal-Title have gone to great lengths to cover all of their bases to appear to be the real thing. We did not wire the money and will be reporting everything we know about these two companies to the authorities.

We received an offer from International Properties ULTD for our timeshare in Mexico "broker" named Christopher a Cody Chilton
Anyone else sell with this company?

I have had a call and offer for my unit in Mexico. This is in USD. No process has happened. Name is Adam Miller. I need info too.

I received an offer too. Am wondering if it's legit too.

We are 3 months in the process with International Properties ULTD and can't believe we let it go this far. We have wired money to a so call government appointed account to pay for state axes, admin fees, SAT fees and to date the demand to keep sending has not stopped. Every time the money is ready to be wired to us another barrier gets in the way. Now we are being asked to pay the Capitol Gain tax to the Hacienda Government office. We have wired nearly 25,000. I could go on but trying to deal with how we are going to deal with this mess we let ourselves get into.

Received a call from Realty Asset Connect, from Oklahoma City. Same as everyone else, offering to rent or sale time share. I'm mexican and live in Mexico, bought in Mexico. How in the world do these guys got the info?

Checked Website on whois, - just created on Sept 2019. Very suspicious.
Any one else contacted by these guys?
Thanks in advance.

I too, was contacted by Realty Asset Connect, from Oklahoma City, offering to broker a purchase of my time share in Mexico. Guy by the name of Chris Gutierrez. I'd like to know how they got my number, and that I own a time share in Mexico. I called my Time share company, and they stated that they do not give our information out, and had never heard of this company. I also asked if they were still selling plans such as mine, and they said yes. So, why is this guy calling me for his 'buyer', to broker a deal, when the buyer can purchase directly from the resort??
Contacted my atty, who said 99% of the time, these people are scams.
Unfortunately, we signed a pre agreement, stating we were interested in selling, but not obligated. No up front costs were paid, nor will we be paying them a dime. But, they have our signatures, and our contract number. :(
If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is. Haven't emailed them to tell them we aren't selling, and haven't heard a peep from them after I told them I'm checking with my attorney....

Has anyone ever been contacted by James Greco from Capital Realty of Chicago? He is offering to sell 6 weeks of our timeshare in Cabo.

But they want 4K upfront from me before I get my 16 k.

I am contacted at least once a week. This week it is Golden Midwest Group brokers LLC. Their offer is wonderful so wonderful in my opinion it can't possibly be real. They are not asking for any up front monies rather proof of ownership. I am afraid once I provide my contract number or grant access to Vidanta that they will somehow steal my ownership. How I do not know but with all the fraud the saying if it sounds too good to be true it likely is.
Has anyone ever heard of Golden Midwest?

Has anyone been contacted by Booking.com to buy your Unlimited vacation Company membership?

We currently hold a Grand Entertainment Collection membership/contract with Vidanta. We purchased it at Nuevo Vallarta. We have been approached by Real Estate Connected LLC 1010 Pine 22nd Floor St. Louis, MO 63101 USA, to purchase the membership. I am wary of this and am asking if anyone has sold there Vidanta membership or know of this real estate company.
David

Anyone hear of "KURTZ & EPSTEIN FINANCIAL"?? They have been in communication with me about selling my timeshare. They offered close to $33k for it and now they're saying I'd have to pay $2250 in taxes/fees before they can secure a buyer.

Recently contacted by a company claiming to be working as a broker through Capital Investment Group

Pitch sounded similar, will see what their appraisal and offer come back and if they as for any money up front and also will contact my resort directly if they are aware of such buy out offers.

My dad just got scammed by a company called Twin Cities Power in NYC, has anybody taken any further legal resource against this type of scam and manage to recover some of the funds? I want to do it but seems like it would be really time and money consuming and maybe not able to recover any money.

Did anybody receive an offer from usa royal group international
Is it legal.

We were contacted by Your Premier Properties Real Estate Corp of New York city who asked if we wished to sell our Right-to-use contract with Vidanta (Celebrate Park Resort Hotel) in Mexico. After agreeing, and having sent them a description of our Vacation agreement, they offered us $57,250. They sent us an agreement to sign, which required us to pay a FIP permit amount t of $3400 plus a Vidanta transfer fee of $1448. We signed the agreement , noting that the real estate fee of 7% would be payable at time of closure. We paid the two amounts of $4848 and waited to be paid. The Broker Dennis Martin called us to say the Mexican bank had put a lien on the deal, wanting to be paid the IVA 16% tax of $9160. After talking to one of their previous clients who told us that they sold their property ok, we paid the tax by wire transfer and waited for the payout. But we were then told by Dennis that they added the real estate fee as a reimbursible to the total payout, so we had to now pay that up front. We objected, saying that this changed the agreement, but as we were stuck, we ended up payi g the $4004.50 commission by wire transfer. Now we waited again for the payout. Their was a delay, and then found out that we had to now pay a payment release fee of over $5000. What to do? We have no confidence of ever receiving the payout, but if we do not they want us to pay $4000 cancellation fee up front, before they send us our $18,000 back. YPP is the most unscrupulous firm we have ever dealt with,. Stay away from this firm, and I hope they get I investigated and shut down

Has anyone ever been contacted by National Brokerage Services in Columbus, Ohio or Paramax in Rochester, NY regarding bonus weeks buyers?

Have anyone dealt with Adventures Portfolio Developers out of Arizona? Please let me know how your experience went. I have been dealing with them since March 2019 and they still haven't completed the transaction.

I have just been contacted and e-mailed by "Cleartripmexico" about selling our time share in PVJ/Cabo. They had the info on the owners name/ length of stay each year/ and size of condo. Has anyone also been contacted by them? The given website seems to be questionable.

I've been a victim of Empire City Brokerage since November 2019 (gullible, naive me). Should I just block all emails and phone calls at this point? I was once told I could go to court if I don't close the transaction. WHY in Heaven's name are these companies still open, if they are fraudulent? I already lost $25,000. It really hurts.

Don’t be fooled by unsolicited calls trying to sell your timeshare! No matter how good the offer sounds, don’t fall for it. Once you are committed, you will be sorry. Fees followed by fees will follow. Even if the broker promised reimbursement, you will never reach that point because the transaction will never close. The fees are imposed by the SAT, the IRS equivalent of Mexico, thereby freeing the US broker Of their commitment for reimbursement. There are companies preying on timeshare owners. Take my advice, stay away, or else you’d be sorry!

If it sounds too good to be true don’t fall for the scam. We learned our lesson, we were scammed for $15,000.00 Canadian this was back in early 2018.
With a company that had all the right answers to our questions and we really believed them on what they were saying.
It should have been a red flag when they wanted us to wire the money to a Mexican bank so they could pay what was still owing on our timeshare. Apparently they had lawyers looking after all the legal papers. Once we wired the money phones were disconnected, website shut down no way of tracing the money. Please don’t fall for what they are saying. My husband is a very smart person and he got taken . Everything just sounded too good to be true and we fell for it, and we are now out $15,000 of our retirement money please don’t let it happen to you.

What's the name of the company?

Has anyone heard of or dealt with a company from Oklahoma by the name of Travel Marketing Associates? Claiming to have a buyer ready to purchase a Grand Mayan Timeshare.

I have recently been approached via a phone call from Realty Link LTD to purchase my timeshare. I searched and could not find anything bad about them at all. They seem legit online, but I know that can be deceiving. Has anyone had any experience with them?

I had a call from them as well and a document that said they have a buyer for my Unlimited Vacations Membership. They said they have a buyer willing to pay more than twice what I paid for the membership. Sounds highly suspicious to me. Why would someone do that if they could just go buy the same thing for what I paid? I tend to think it's a scam.

hello, did you ended up finding out more? did you go through the sale?

Has anyone received an offer from AIR GORILLA?

Yesterday (06/02/20) I got call and email from AIR GORILLA with great offer for my UVC membership. They know all info which is on my contract. I asked them where from they got my info, the answer was 'From RCI'. After everything I read on this post, I am not sure I will go with them.

We were just contacted by air gorilla today offering to buy our vacation club membership. I don’t trust anyone though!

We were just contacted by Air Gorilla on June 5,2020, offering to buy our vacation club membership in Cabo.

I got email from Airgorilla offering us $62.000 for our Vidanta contract. Is this true? Someone have sold their propierty before with sucess?

I entered into a contract in Mexico to sell 1) a timeshare and 2) real property. They made a fair offer, but insisted I put up $7,450 , to be put into an Escrow account. A buy/sell agreement was executed and I put the $7450 on a credit card.
An Escrow Officer contacted me from a branch of Fidelity Tile. The Seller keeps asking for more money , stating the Mexican Government has initiated new fees, and now a Capital Gains Tax.
I want this transaction to be real. How can I verify all of this?

We were scammed by aGeorgia based company using the name Johnson Real Estate Property Sales LLC & AustellRealty Partners LLC.
The first took our money and we couldn't recoup. As retired persons we were hoping to pay off our debts and live simply. Beware of any persons Phoning you to sell ANY timeshares or holiday properties. The only trusted way to sell these types of property is to initiate it yourself!! Talk to a lawyer or realtor in your hometown before agreeing to any sales. Take it from me!

Does anyone know anything about a company named.
Reality Link LTD

I have but not sure if there legit. I was told if they call you it means they there not. Also they asked to pay for permit since time share is international. However they will be refunded by the buyer later on. It sound too good to be true.

Got a call from international properties unlimited offering me
$ 70,000.00 for our timeshare in Mexico. I asked him to send me a e- mail on his company but have not received any response. The number given is 1-678-279-5732 in Georgia and what l found out is they are not part of the BBB even after being asked to provide proof of there license etc. Look on BBB Georgia for for details.

Dealing with timeshare resale in Mexico. Companies Realty Link in Chicago and Escrow Corp in Philadelphia. Any comments?

It is the same as all of the others you are reading on here....they are asking for funds to create a foreign tax id to receive the funds from escrow and approximately $4,000 to do so. It will end the same as all of the others and fits the mold to a "T" based upon everything your reading in the blog.

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