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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

It's a scam, don't but into it!!!

I just got this call from the same people. Actually Investment Group Inc in Chicago. I think it's a scam.Too bad.

I learned a difficult lesson after being scammed by a fake company called Goldstein Funding over a year ago. Recently been contacted by Estate Exchange Group LLC and a company going by Property Management. Same old story...ALL SCAMMERS!! And there are many more listed in this thread...how many are there?!! Terrible.

Estate Exchange Group LLC and Title Authority, Inc. are scams. As mentioned above, they are based out of Chicago and are pretty much using the same technique to take your money. It starts with a non-binding contract you must sign and it also has the signature of Tim Clarke. Then they approach you about wiring the 16% sales tax to Mexico, then AIG insurance. All the while insuring you the buyer will reimburse the fees. It's a scam and don't buy into it!!!! If you've sent funds, DO NOT send anymore!

Thousands of International travelers, particularly from the US and Canada, have fallen victims of timeshare fraud while vacationing. Resort developers hire skilled salesmen to represent their timeshares as many different attractive packages, such as financial investments, deeded properties, or vacation clubs, just to increase their sales.

I've contacted by Vacation Resort Experts (actually they have called me more than 20 times). They want me to sell the timeshare I have with UVC. They are asking me for the sales contract but I'm afraid that this is not legit. Anyone knows about this company? I've forward the email received by them to UVC for some advise or if they know about that company and their advice was not to provide my personal information.

I am getting many calls from them as well. I fear that they are a SCAM. I was called by the lawyer in Mexico apparently representing UVC. I checked out the law firm and no one in the area know of them. UVC do not know of these guys either.

I've been getting calls also. Pretty sure it's a scam as it sounds a lot like the other messages. I received a call late last year from a different company making the exact same promises and sales pitch. I assume the previous fake company got made and changed there name to vacation experts

Got a call from a Chicago number, a girl with a British accent asking if I'm interested in selling my timeshare with UVC. I said, "Sure, I'd be interested." So they sent an email with an attached letter of intent, just like those mentioned above. And, like those above, the offer was for slightly more than twice the purchase price of our timeshare.

Suspicious, I googled "The Estate Exchange Group" and looked at their website. I then called UVC's membership services to ask if this was a legit request. The person with UVC said, "This is a scam. We are investigating it. Do not respond to them."

Curious about these things, I decided to have a little fun and call The Estate Exchange Group directly, using the number they provide on their rather generic website. The person answering the phone acted surprised by the call, and then tried to play it off that he was the secretary. I asked a couple questions and he was very dodgy, so I hung up.

This is a scam all the way. If you've been offered this deal, UVC asks that you contact them and send to them the letter of intent you received as part of their own investigation into what's happened here. Obviously their member information has been compromised.

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

Seems like the recent name of the callers is Vacation Resort Experts in Illinois. Names used are Steven Wood and Kevin Ortiz. Also got a call from the alleged lawyer representing the AM Resorts, AVG and Assoc. in Guadalajara Mexico. Asking for $2450 upfront to cover transfer, fees, taxes etc. BE AWARE!

I found out that AM Resorts has no idea this is going on. I was told by VRE that AM Resorts wants all units to be all inclusive and not private. They are getting good.

UVC Member | Jan 6, 2015
Another caller wanting to buy my UVC Membership, from 1-708-669-0372

I got 2 letters following the call from

Steve Wood President & Founder Vacation Resort Experts

Part of their letter:
2. Scan and Email or Fax a copy of your original sales contract of your vacation membership. Please note; we do not need any sensitive information. Should your original contract contain your social security number or credit card information, please black that information out before emailing or faxing.
3. Once we have your information, it will be forwarded to a licensed title company who will perform a soft inquiry as to the current standing of your membership. E.g. Membership balance, maintenance or any outstanding fees currently due.
4. Upon receipt of your membership inquiry, a purchase offer is then drawn up and forwarded to you for your approval. One of our agents will contact you and review the terms of our agreement.

I also got calls and letters from MAC Inc in 2014, wanting to buy m UVC Membership for $28K - I didn't pursue it since he said UVC Mgt lies

I too received a call from vacation resoet experts. Area code, 708. Offering to buy my membership all I nees to do is send them my membershio number and or front page of contract stating owners' names. I am doing my research because it all sounda too good to be true. UVC has never heard of them and advised me to not proceed.

June 2013 my daughter and I went to the presentation. Tim and Tom were the young boys that gave us the Playa de coco lounge pass and coupons and gave us a discount for the Coco Adventures. Spouses were suppose to attend together. Mine wasnt there. To good to be true. They served us mimosas and talked a great game. Todd Richards was our second guy (think real name is Todd Dehn) (picture attached Todd Dehn and Fernando May) the pressure guy. Dan Shade? was the guy that had breakfast with us. My daughter was with me not my husband. We loved the place but I wish I wouldn't of gave them money. We got 1 registered week and 5 corporate weeks I had paid 8,150.00 (1,000 admin and 1,000 to Amerashare Annuities with Hong Kong address) and pd 699.00 to Mercury Property Management. That same day I wanted to cancel and they said I couldn't. I went back the next two days crying and begging. I was scared. In another country Mike Flores Mercury Property Management to rent them at 2600.00 week for 5 years. This is the only reason we signed up. They would use the weeks for marketing. We werent going to use for 5 years and get all our money back then some. I came home I cancelled all my cards after reading everything on the internet. I emailed them back begging to let me get out of this. We have not seen any rental income. I have read Redweek and Pissed consumer and Travel Advisors and they are still doing this scam in November of this year. Now I hear that Bahia Turquesa is claiming they never set up with the rental company. I talked with them (Mercury Management) who knows maybe they were upstairs in the office) on the phone standing on the balcony on the hill at Bahia Turquesa. They are all liars. I called him but he didnt call me back. I need help!!!!!!!!! Now Logistical Services Group called and said they are working with Las Palmas to take care of the clients that didn't get what they were promised through Mercury Management. This is the recovery scam. Jonathan Rinaldi sent me a rental contract to give me 26,456.00 for my 6 weeks. Said I needed to pay the maintenance for the weeks. I had to give it a try so wired 2,370.00 to some bank. I got an emailed receipt from Las Palmas Travel Network showing the received the funds(fake of course). Now Jonathan has me talk with Alex Perez the accountant and now they want 16% taxes paid before I get the money. This is the point where I wont fall for their s again. Asked Alex if I can talk with Jonathan again and he said it wasn't possible anymore for the file is now in his hands. They say the taxes are $4,050 and they will pay 49% of that so I just need to send 2,000 or something and they will send the money in 5 days. Right?? So I am out $10,905.00. I still owe on the vacation club membership(was suppose to be a fractional ownership in very expensive places and low costs and cooks etc etc) of course that was Todd Richards talking to me and when you see the actual contract is says nothing of the sort. It's a vacation club membership. The flim flam artists. I remember him saying when I went up to that Chantel Matthews office "Don't mention the re-sale of weeks, you want to get that money" I cant believe how stupid I was. We loved the place and we were there on my moms Interval International exchange. She bought the week for us. I thought they were legit, so why would this be so screwed up. How can Bahia Turquesa have these sales/developers on their property and not know what is going on. I am going to contact Las Palmas and send them the receipt supposedly they received the fees. I is amazing how many companies name are involved in this elaborate scam. We need to get to Enselmo Baldini. I will email my contract number and other info next.

The story of Wendellgrif is a copy of our story :-(...Did you hear anything after 2015 about this case?????

I too have been contacted by International Group Trading, Inc., out of Chicago, Illinois offering almost 3 times what I paid for my UVC Dreams contract. The catch, I think, involves the 6% commission "held by the title company" until the funds of the sale have been verified by the seller. I've got a pretty strong feeling that one would never see that 6% again or the illusory proceeds from the sale.

My contact was one Venessa Rodriquez.

Thanks to all who posted on this blog.

SCAM!!! This is a scam! CAUTION!

We must all be in the same boat. Got a UVC package and now trying to unload that and get a call from Estate Exchange Group. So not wanting to be duped twice, I checked and this is what I find. Thanks for all of your comments. 'Too good to be true" is still the rule.

Estate Exchange Group in Illinois has been hijacked by scammers...the website is a sham...steer clear!!!

Has any one had any dealings with Recovery Investments LLC out of Raleigh, North Carolina?

Received a call from Revel Event Management, wanted to buy our vacation club. They provided us a contract, which all look legit. My question is, we were told that there is a tax that has to be paid to the Mexican Secretaria de Hacienda Y Credito Publico, which look to be similar to the Mexican version of the IRS. Any info, it sounds like a scam.

No money was requested up front. We were told there would be a commision for the sale, but we had to pay the taxes directly to Secretaria de Hacienda Y Credito Publico, to release it us from the deed.

Does anyone have any information about this company, or this type of sale.

The same scam is now operating under the name Investment Affiliates Inc from Stoughton, MA. First, a phone call from Joe Garcia. Then the letter of intent and a .pdf contract from Stacy Webb (admin asst.) on behalf of Peter Costa the broker. Double the price that we paid and only 6% commission upon closing. Don't do it!!! I'll be filing my report asap to the FTC since this appears to be a new company name, also in a vacant building for sale when I confirmed the address.

Hello, because of your warning I have told Joe Garcia to take a hike. I own several time shares and heard about scammers like this but never really experienced one. you are right. he says he's an expert and that he has a buyer to purchase my time share for near what I paid. I know that time shares are like a sink hole. there's no recouping the money you paid. Thanks for the warning!

I am a private investigator in Chicago who is working this right now! The companies offering these "SCAMS" have hijacked the names of real companies, they start up sham websites under those companies names, use very similar addresses of those companies registered agents. They are using an off-shore bank and eventually have the funds transferred to a bank in Mexico. This is all a big scam!

Has anyone heard of Third Coast Group? I have received calls and unbelievable offer for our UVC membership. Received market analysis worksheet and intent agreement, neither of which I have sent back. What makes me leery is that every time I call, I only seem to speak with one person, David Williams. If it is too good to be true, probably is, right? Just wondering if anyone else has heard/dealt with this co/person and whether or not to report...

Hi, I received a call from them last week, and then an email today. They made a decent offer, but I am unsure if it is a scam too. Have you had any other dealings with them since your post?

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.

Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.

Hey there! I also received a good offer from this company. I am skeptical tho, hav yous made any contact with them since or heard any bad reviews about third coast??? Thank you

I have received an offer from Third Coast Group out of Houston as well. I have done some research and it is a solid offer, but not out of the range of value. So far they have not asked me for any money, but have only received the offer and have not agreed to go any further. I have not been able to find any negative feedback on Third Coast online...does anyone have anything they can share?

Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints. Take a look at this FTC article for more tips on how to handle a call from a company offering to resell your timeshare.

I hav also had an offer from this company. Can't find any negative feedback yet, but il thinking they could just be starting up there scam. I am awaiting reply from Houston attorney generals office, will leav feedback wen I hear from them.

I just received a letter from the attorney general office of Texas, they said they have received 3 complaints in this past two yrs about third coast group, im thinking that's pretty good number for a two yr period!!? thinking of going ahead with the sale,,, anyone else anymore feedback??

It seems that they are now using the new name Third Coast Group for the same old scam. Just a naive person like me to send money to them. Now I asked to cancel and they are so greedy that they are asking for a cancelation fee. Don't trust them and don't send any money.

use a lawyer

Third Group want you to pay a Mexican tax up front ,approx. $3000-$4000. They say they will reimburse you this amount. Why can't they pay the tax themselves? Trust or don't trust. We didn't go through with it.

I also received a call from David Williams from 3rd Coast Group. He told me that they would find the best offer they could for my timeshare. If I agreed to the sale, they would close on the property, wire the money into my account and I would only have to pay their commission of 5%. He took very little details about the timeshare and then sent a contract with a high price and almost no details contained on the contract. I followed up with them and received a call a few days later that I needed to speak with a closing agent. I called the agent and she read her sales pitch to me. She basically said I had to pay close to $4,000 before money would be released to me. I asked her where the funds were located and she said they were being held by the Mexican government. The buyer was supposedly a large bank in Mexico (Banco Grupo) but the funds were held by the government? That made no sense to me. I thought it was a scam in the beginning but now I know it is a scam. Stay away from this company.

i also have received what i think is an offer too good to be true. I asked them (via email) if there was any monetary requirements up front after i signed the agreement (which looks pretty simple/ and hardly any info on the agreement)before i sign. They said no so.. if i sign the agreement/contract and they THEN ask for monies do i have to legally send it? what i find interesting is that the BUYER is "Grupo Bimbo, S.A.C.V.". Mexico, FD" = Mexico City. i "googled" "Grupo Bimbo" and the only such company that comes up is a BAKERY in Mexico City . What does a Bakery want with a timeshare unless maybe money laundering??!!! no dates of my purchase, no contract # not even my address on the agreement???
funny that this seems to be happening to a lot of people in the same time frame suspicious?? you tell me!

That is the exact same thing that happened to me. I filed a report with the FTC. The "closing agent" Kelly Taylor told me that the Mexican Government was in possession of the funds and they would be immediately released to my bank once I wired close to $4,000. I reminded her that I was told by David Williams that the funds would be wired to my bank first, I would pay their commission and then transfer the property. I said, "You are telling me that the funds are not held at a bank and are being held by the Mexican government. That makes absolutely no sense." There was never any mention of taxes in any of our previous conversations. I knew when they sent me the contract and it had almost no details regarding my property that it was a scam. But, I followed up just to make sure. I have absolutely no doubts in my mind that it is a scam.

Do not listen to David Williams, Kelly Taylor or anyone else from 3rd Coast Group. It is a scam and a waste of your time even if you don't wire money, which you should obviously not do.

Vacation Resorts Experts is s scam (Kevin Ortiz 708-231-1018) thanks for your posts, saved my wife and I from learning the hard way.

Mt wife was called today and as I looked into the Estate Exchange Group I found this feed. Thanks for all your posts! Saving one consumer at a time. Sad that this kind of scamming happens.

How do you know it's a scam has anyone tried it

I am going through a similar experience with a company called Waterfront Property Group. They seem to be out of Seattle and call from a 206 area code. All of the same tactics as explained.

Got a call from a Preston Ford regarding buying my Bluegreen Points of 20000 for $36000.00, checked on the address where the Liberty Fincinal title group was houses and it is just a office with a redirect phone. Call an attorney that does law suits on this type of "scam" to see if it is legit and he said "RUN"...I had paid a company over 3 years ago to sell the points, and this guy called 3 plus years later with a great story....he calls from 407-694-3224 which is Florida, but title company is in California.....I am still RUNNING...YEAH

A GOOD QUESTION TO ASK IF YOU GO TO A TIME SHARE OR POINTS GIG IS ASK THE SALES PERSON HOW MANY OF THESE TIME SHARES HE OWNS, OR HOW MANY POINTS HE OWNS....ANSWER..NONE....

Hello, Iam going through a similar experience with a company called 111 Capital Management Corp. They are in New York and call from 212-8459388. and with trustee Services inc, in MO, 314 450-7987 All of the same tactics as explained. please be aware.

Got a call from Vacation Resort Experts, Steve Wood (President & Founder). I received a call yesterday to purchase my UVC membership. They said a huricane destroyed the resort so a new developer was purchasing it for reconstruction. I called UVC and they confirmed the huricane story and the devistation but said to be very careful because the resort is not being sold (to his knowledge)and asked me to send the email I received and they will forward it to their fraud department for investigation then they would get back to me with their findings. In conclusion if the offer is genuine their will be no rush to finalize the deal so take the time and contact your resort for confirmation (AND) do not delete any corrispondance as this may be needed at a later date because if these people got your information as they did mine, they my be able to steal your identity, the emails they sent you may be your only proof or evidence to cover your ass. Today I received an accual contract but as I am not a lawyer I will need to thread causiously and have it looked over by some one smarter than I. Better to spend $200 to be sure then to get screwed for $22,000 in the end. Good luck to all. Cover your ass-ets, have a lawyer look it over before you sign anything and hit SEND.

We too were contacted by Vacation Resort experts wanting to purchase our UVC membership. What did you do? Scam?

Has anyone been contacted by Corporation International Financial Partners Inc out of California, Broker- Daniel Boyd. Sounds like same scam. Tx

Yes, I have received a call and paperwork from Daniel Boyd with International Financial Partners Inc. and my husband was the one to say, "DON'T DO IT!!!" as I was planning on going ahead with it!!! I was planning on taking the papers to our lawyers office, but my hubby figures that, that would just be a waste of money, as he believes that it is a scam and I am now inclined to agree with him, after having read several things regarding this kind of scam, AND, not being able to find a website for this corporation, let alone any reviews - GOOD, OR BAD!!! Ticks me off that people think they can steal other people's hard earned money and that they don't have to TRULY EARN THEIR OWN!!!

I received a call from a Mr. James Mason (foreign accent) representing a company called e.timesharepro services claiming to have a buyer for my timeshare. He needed me to wire $1,000 to some account in god knows where. He had all of my information from previous conversations with another bogus company as well as the names of the people I had spoken with. His phone is 702-421-4775. I looked up the number and it was out of Las Vegas which he admitted. Funny part is each company has asked for different dollar amounts ranging from $800 to $1,200. He sent me a contract with the account number and name I need to wire the money to. This has been going on since Feb. 2013 (no money from me). I looked up the location the last time and they wanted me to wire the funds to some location in the Caribbean. Think I will forward to state attorney general office for the heck of it.

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