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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

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 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...

Same here. "The Estate Exchange Group" is a scam. My calls were from "Katie", a woman with a British accent.

We have been contacted by Estate exchange group as well concerning our UVC package and offered a tremendous deal. I have told them, I wil not send money to them, in order to receive money and who can I speak to at the destination where my money would be going . He told me it was not an individual, ok, what bank? Didn't know, company in Mexico, on and on with his passing the buck.,I spoke to and individual in CANCUN at the resort where we stay, (not even thru UVC, because it's much less expensive to stay at this resort than the fabulous deal we thought we were getting ) he said if they ask for money from you up front, do not do it, it's a scam, he is to put me in contact with a legit company that will purchase our UVC package. I wasn't really falling for this, however , so glad I checked this forum!!!

Just curious...what company did UVC put you in contact with? I just received a call from Estate Exachange Group (along with an email with qualifying offer attached). Now I know it is a scam but I still want to investigate selling to a LEGITIMATE company.

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!

Vacation Resort Experts called me too. I actually went as far as talking to the "attorney" in Mexico. It sounds very legit. EXCEPT the "Mexican Lawfirm's" website was all in English - no option for Spanish. Strange...
I couple days prior to VRE, I had a "broker" From Investment-Entreprises call me with a similar deal. He had a current broker license and even gave me the contract info of the title company. Amazingly enough, both the investment company and title company had similar websites.
With VOIP, phone numbers from different states are not hard to get.
I am glad I did the research.

I recently recieved a call from Vacation Resort Experts offering me $5,000 more than what I paid for my UVC membership. I went as far as speaking to the "lawyer" in Mexico. They wanted a 10% transfer fee plus closing costs which equalled almost $2,000. I googled scams and came across this thread. Thank goodness I found this. I have since blocked all their numbers on my phone. I will be calling UVC as well to let them know.

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!

Am I glad I found this blog! Got a call today from Estate Exchange Group LLC and decided to check them out. I also looked at the website for Property Connect LLC. The websites are similar and the text is identical. Clearly the Letter of Intent they want me to sign is the first step of a scam. Has anyone had experience with Mercury Property Management in St. Louis?

Stay away from MPM. I have been dealing with them since November 2013 and after 16 months they just told me that my property was overvalued and they would not continue representing the resale.

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!

To add to the thread, I was called out of the blue and e-mailed a Letter of Intent (LOI) from Estate Exchange Group, LLC for double as well. I've been investigating since. The company is an actual LLC in IL, but don't let that fool you! The Broker is named on the LOI; mine was Timothy M Clarke. I went to the IL Dept of Financial & Professional Regulation website and searched for his license under the Real Estate Board. It exists, but when I called his Sponsor listed in his profile, they stated he is not associated with the company. I wasn't the 1st to call either. I recommend going to this website and calling the Sponsor of the Broker listed on your LOI. They were happy to have me forward the LOI to them to further investigate; also, it's good to let a licensed individual know their license is being used fraudulently.

You must have called Baird & Warner right after I did. When I called, Desiree took my information, then called me back like 45 seconds after we hung up and told me Tim Clark informed them about one year ago that he had been the victim of identity theft.

I just posted, but I didn't think I could include links. It looks like just commercial links are not allowed, can the link to the IL Dept of Financial & Professional Regulation be included? it is https://ilesonline.idfpr.illinois.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx

Doesn't look like original post got on. It referred to me getting an offer from Estate Exchange Group LLC for double what I paid for my UVC Travel Club Membership. On the Letter of Intent was a broker's name, Tmothy M. Clark. I looked up his license on the above link and found an active license. However, when I called the sponsor listed, they stated he is not involved with the company at all, and his name is being used illegitimately. I recommend looking up the license of whomever is on your Letter of Intent and let them know their name is being used.

I'm reading through all these scams and they sound very similar to a call I just got from a company called Corporate Event Planners. Any one else receive a call from this company. Story is the same ... they have a buyer and will post money to an escrow account in my name. Haven't gotten any further than that yet. I noted that several of the phony companies discussed are from Chicago, which is the same location for CEP.

I am also being told that someone in mexico wants to purchase my timeshare.i am going through capital management corp on new york.they are willing to pay me a large sum of money for my timeshare,the only thing i sent was a letter of intent.and they sent me a contract which i have not sent back.does anyone one know if this is a scam.PLEASE HELP

Had several calls from Corporate Event Planners too. Received offer and procedure via email. Promised to close quickly and get my money within one week. Researched my resort on timeshares for sale and found numerous similar units for a fraction of what I was offered. When CEP called back I suggested they were a scam and with no argument at all they simply hung up.

Shame on Property Connect LLC, supposedly purchasing for Cheung Kong Holdings, Ltd.
It's obvious we know your game, time to run before the Feds catch up to you.

I got the same call and letter of intent from Estate Exchange Group, LLC. James Strana, Frank Castillo, Timothy Clarke...check, check, and check.
I separately got a call from Houston International Title Transfers. They offered me about double, they knew what I paid for my UVC membership. They haven't asked for any money up front, but I would pay 5% for transaction expenses after receiving the payment. I've been searching for any information on Houston International Title Transfers and/or Henry Lopez. Has anyone dealt with them? Is it a scam? Are ANY of these real, valid deals/companies???

I just started to research that Houston International, did you sing the contract I am concerned I want to sell the timeshare but they want money upfront for the tax

If you own a timeshare, be cautious about offers to help you resell it. Be skeptical of companies that require you to pay fees upfront — even if there’s the promise of a “money-back guarantee.” A request for a fee upfront is often a sign that it's a scam. Read about buying and selling a timeshare.

We received a call from a company out of New York called C.R.M Realty & Investments with the same type of offer, that a Mexican businessman wants to buy our vacation club membership in the D.R. Anyone else been contacted by this group?

Has anyone gotten a check from these guys? I am getting calls and can't believe it's legit.

My husband and I were contacted by Estate Exchange group a few weeks ago, received the contract, and gave it to our attorney to review/investigate. I too, like UVCMember, made calls to check on the Broker. I was told they were informed about one year ago that Timothy Clark was the victim of identity theft and to be very skeptical of anything with his name attached. Today I have been investigating the information about their title/escrow agent and can't find anything that makes sense. I am a former Real Estate Paralegal and currently a Realtor so I was skeptical from the very first call.

My first comment hasn't posted yet, but FYI to all who have posted here about Estate Exchange Group:

This is the email response from the registered owner of "Estate Exchange Group":
Thank you for your call and email. I do have an LLC with that name in Illinois, however, we do not have a web site nor do we deal in time shares. I did a Google search and found the site which apparently is referred to in your email and on the FTC link. I would report this suspicious activity.
Best of luck and thank you for the heads up on this other entity.

And here is the response from the owner of Title Authority Inc, which is the title company that EEG supposedly uses:
Carolyn, We are the Registered Agent for a company called Title Authority, Inc. which is located in Downers Grove, Illinois and which to my knowledge has nothing to do with the time share business. I am alerting our client in regard to your warning. Larry Gold

Folks do not get involved at all with Property Connect or The Transfer Group. I consider myself fairly intelligent and usually I am suspicious of things to good to be true as I was with these offers. Long story short I feel for their scam lost thousands of dollars and never received a penny!!!! If they call you DO NOT FALL FOR IT!!!!

Does anyone know anything about a company called Recovery Investments, LLC from North Carolina. They offered to buy my vacation club in Mexico and knew all the details about it and me. Called the Attorney General's office in North Carolina, but they have no complaints, just know they are calling people.

If you're thinking of selling a timeshare, take a look at this FTC article and find tips on how to handle a call from a company offering to resell your timeshare.

hi, this is exactly what happened to us!

Zachary Hoffman of lakeside escrow in Cleveland oh. and Anthony tornatore of Overland Park in kc Missouri. Tornatore initiate the process with ph call and later Hoffman called. Promised buyers ready. Cash in hand. All I had to do was pay Mexico VAT tax and later a property luxury tax. Hang up if Hoffman or tornatore calls wanting to buy vacation weeks. And whatsoever do not send them money!

Here is our letter:
Thank you for considering the re-sale of your vacation membership.

Attached is the sales offer we spoke on the phone about. Please read 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.

Angel Diaz

Thanks for saving us huge $$$$$$

I got a call out of the blue from Vacation Resort Experts. They wanted to purchase my Unlimited Vacation Club timeshare--something I would be happy to unload to the first taker. I guess I asked too many questions, because I wound up speaking to a "supervisor" named Eddie Von. Twice, in fact. He told me that they are buying up these timeshares and reselling them. No one ever mentioned a thing about fees, or commissions, or about my having to hand over a penny. Has anyone else had the pleasure of talking to those guys?

So here's the real question: is there a LEGIT way to unload an unwanted Unlimited Vacation Club time share? Where do you go to do that?

I am just curious if anyone has had any experience with a company out of Chicago IL which is wanting to buy our uvc membership for much more than we have paid plus what we still owe. Does or has anyone had any experience dealing with International Group Trading Inc.

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