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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 would be so wonderful if someone would list some reputable companies. We're all so paranoid we won't deal with anyone to sell our really great time share!
Anyone with some "good" experience?

I too received a Letter of Intent from Property Management + Inc. The office is also listed as 11601 Wilshire Blvd No 500, Los Angeles, CA 90025. The name of this Broker Agent is Frederic David Ross and the phone number that he keeps calling me from is 1-866-978-7973. I have not felt comfortable about this since the very first call he made to me. There has been no mention of me having to pay any money, but I knew something was up when the offer I received was for more than I paid 20 years ago. I'm so glad I found this blog! You all just saved me lots of time and money!

I am so happy to read this blog. I too was contacted by a company in TN-ABI Realty Inc who turned the transaction over to Realty Assets Inc in MA for the "closing." My timeshare is in Cabo. Just like the stories above, everything seemed legit until I got a random call from Carolos Rivera telling me he was with the Mexico Department of Tourism and I needed to wire a 10% payment in order to proceed with the sale. Realty Assets Inc then sent me copies of BANAMEX checks from the buyer that they are holding for me until I pay the fee, because it is illegal for the buyer to pay the Mexican government directly. Duh, the Mexican government should be demanding that the buyer pay the fee. I have asked Realty Assets Inc to deposit the funds into my attorney's trust account first. No response yet. I guess I need to do more digging because Realty Assets Inc is legit, registered in MA since 1992. Another odd call I received was from Veronica, who stated she was the attorney for the buyer in Mexico, yet caller id revealed the same phone number for Realty Assets Inc. Thank you for saving me over $2K!!

I was contacted by a guy by the name of Anthony Flores representing a company named A.B.I. Realty. The other person in the office (his boss he said) was a guy named Zack Madrigal. He said his company was prepared to offer me 20% to 30% more than the original purchase price for my Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach timeshare in Cabo. I am 9 years into a 30 year timeshare so the deal was very attractive. This guy wqs knowledgable about the new golf course which just opened on the property. He said he represented a Mexican firm that repackages timeshares to sell as business trips. I went so far as to send him a copy of my contract and certificate of ownership. It sounded legit and the website looked fine. I could not find any complaints online until today. Needless to say I am shutting this down. Thanks to everyone who posted their stories to help me reach the conclusion that this is indeed a scam. The fact that they claim to work through an escrow company and that the ownership transfer will not occur until they send me a certified check led me to believe that this was legit. After researching it further, I can foresee that the escrow company will likely be a scam and that I would end up losing money at some point if I followed through.

Has anybody ever heard of an outfit called Resort Travelers Intl.? They want to rent my "getaway Weekends" from Bluegreen. They say I get 4/year and will pay $5200 for them. They re-use them in blocks for corporate events. The catch: $1275 upfront for a membership fee. Legit or no??

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.

The FTC article about Timeshares and Vacation Plans has more tips.

I need to speak to a FTC Representative about steps I need to take re. someone stealing almost US $190,000 that belongs to me from the sale of my property. An urgent call is requested to my telephone, (301)

I do live near the D.C. Metro area, close to the FTC National Headquarters at DC. Thanks.

You can file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint, or you can call 1-877-382-4357.

If someone stole money from you, you can contact your state attorney eneral and the attorney general in the where the scammer is based.

If you want to find a lawyer to consult, you can use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association or visit this site from the State Bar Associations.

I have been contacted by It's Time to Go Luxury Destinations out of Dallas re selling them some weeks from my Vacation package.
3030 Lyndon B. Johnson Fwy Dallas, TX 75234. Checking with the building management they're no longer there and have been gone for about a year. They're associated with a Chicago company called Forward Thinking. Anyone had any dealings with Forward Thinking at 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Ste. 1940 Chicago. Il 60611

I have a client now getting calls from B$M Investments out of California by a very heavily spanish accented gent named Mike Goldman. They are offering to buy the UVC membership for 5500.00 more them what was paid. I have a contract and a conference call with their attorney in Mexico. Lets see where this goes.

Has anyone heard of Property Management Plus, Inc our of LA or an escrow company Third Point Captial out of LA? I have been approached to buy my timeshare and feel that a scam is lingering? The only request for money thus far is to acquire an RFC number (90 day temporary visa for non-citizans to sale property) to the tune of $4350.00. Of course, I can acquire this by going to the Mexican consulate myself or traveling to Mexico to obtain this number. Anyone have a similiar experience?

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 any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.

The American Resort Development Association has information about vacation ownership: (202) 371-6700 or www.arda.org

I have verified all licenses and see no compliants on file with their licensing boards. Has anyone had any experience or actually done a transaction with them (Third Point Captial or Property Management Plus, Inc)?

Yes, I've been contacted by the same two companies, though the cost of the RFC was quoted at $3750, to either be wired to a bank account in Mexico, to be taken to that bank in person or to be obtained through the Mexican Consulate here (in Denver). I am awaiting a response from the Consulate but I think this is pretty clearly a scam, though I am so very tempted to believe otherwise. Have you found out anything else about either of these companies?

Believe me it's a scam, sorry to say I didn't find this Web site earlier.

Here is the latest 'fake' company offering to buy timeshares.
Property Owl Incorporated 136-7 37th Avenue, Flushing, NY 866-864-5368 Micheal Silverman - sales person, Lucy Coleman
Executive Assistant. Same generic website design as others who have called me. Their address traces back to the Congressman Rosenthal Place which seems to currently be a Chase bank. Same form letter offer and con story.

add Steve Harris to this list with Property Owl Management

I have been contacted by Property Owl recently, are you saying it is a scam? What is the scam?

I have been contacted by Property Owl Inc and they are using American Corporation Of Finance in Rochester, NY. When I Googled the Rochester address I see a different business. Anyone else checked on this operation?

My husband and I have been contacted by Property Owl saying they have a buyer for our timeshare at Private Residence Club in Nayarit. Where is your timeshare?

Checked with management company at address for American Corporation of Finance in Rochester, NY that no such business exists. The same is true for Property Owl Inc in Flushing, NY. It is a total scam.

Omg I’ve been contacted by both organizations. Michael king. Everything seems so legit. My gut says it’s a scam. I’m not sending anyone I have never met any money. What a waste of time. I have been dealing with him for weeks. They have nothing better to do.

Don't agree to anything even if the offer sounds good or too good to be true. You'd be sorry if you do. You are asking for trouble!

Omg I’ve been contacted by both organizations. Michael king. Everything seems so legit. My gut says it’s a scam. I’m not sending anyone I have never met any money. What a waste of time. I have been dealing with him for weeks. They have nothing better to do.

Has anybody been contacted by Austin Marketing Solutions?

I was recently contacted by Monica Alexander with Brokerage Consolidated Group Inc. in Mn. at 333 Washington Ave. North. Has anyone dealt with them? No mention of upfront money yet, though I am sure it is coming. She did go back and re-negotiate for me coming up with more $$.

The FTC has an article to read if you're thinking of buying or selling a 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.

Has anyone heard of Western Resort Sales? They claim they are not a timeshare resale company, but a property locating service. They buy vacation properties for those who are looking to purchase vacation property. There are fees: money transfer fee, city & county transfer fee, and a title search fee. Scam or not?

Short and sweet, yes Western Resort Sales is a scam. They got me for $150. I'm gonna file a complaint with Tennessee AG, consumer fraud division. If you want to hear more of my dealings with Jerry Butler, Western Resort sales, email me

Has anybody have anything going on with Travel Associates Inc. out of Quincy, MA A fellow By the Name of Robert John Silverman Has being calling trying to get me to sell my Time Share in Mexico for 3 times what I have paid for it. I have googled the company and it seems to come up ok, Also they are stating that they have a buyer that has set up a Escrow account with the firm called True & Clear Title Inc. They are not asking for any money up front and only ask for a 5% fee after deal has being made. Has anybody dealt with either of these company's

The FTC has an article to read if you're thinking of selling a 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.

We have been contacted by Travel Associates and True & Clear. They are listed in the BBB of MA but not accredited. The MA General Attorney said there are no complaints about them, they are both licenced and registered for business in the state of MA, but we just canceled all dealings with them, because they are very similar to several of the companies listed on this website. We FIRMLY believe they are a scam! Even though everything seems to show they are a legit company. They may have hijacked a real company or something. Both companies have a website, but they are both very vague and look like they were set up by the same person. We had them send us a contract, then we had them make changes to the contract. When the contract came back saying all parties had resigned the new contract, the signatures looked exactly the same. (signatures never look exactly the same)
We signed a contract with them. We then sent them notice (by fax, email, and phone to both companies) that we were canceling the contract. They started to tell us that the buyer had to approve of us canceling (preamble to trying to make us pay cancelation fees) We said no they didn't and reminded them that both our state and MA law says we can get out of any contract within 72 hours. We haven't heard a word from them since.

Watch out for Travel Associates, Inc., 859 Willard Street, Suite 400, Quincy, MA (339) 526-1043 and True & Clear Title, Inc. 925 Concord Street, Framingham, MA, (508) 232-6381. They have created a very real looking timeshare purchase scam. These companies appear to have been stolen by the scammers so if you check BBB, State of MA registration and websites they appear very real. Their ultimate goal is to get you to wire money to a fraudulent account.

Has anyone heard of Universal Realty Management out of Missouri. Can't find them on BBB website.They have contacted me to sell them my timeshare. They emailed me a proposal and says I would pay 8% at the end. Anybody else get a call like this and what did you do?

The FTC has an article to read if you're thinking of selling a 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.

Pro Timeshare Resales of Deland, Florida. Must be something in the water there because I have become scammed by 2 companies in that area. PTR gets your phone number from a timeshare listing. They call you if your interested in selling your timeshare. They say they can sell it before your firs CC payment is due. Thats a lie, 2 years later and over $5000 in fees and still have my timeshare. Decided it's cheaper to own it than sell it. Tried submitting a fraud report with my CC company. They worked for me for a while but got scammed on Consumer Recovery Services who got 45% recovery fee. Was OK with that to get some of my money back. My CC refunded the money to my account, I paid CRS and all was good. Then the CC company charged the money back on my CC because I had have an electronic signature contract with them. My contract with CRS after 90 days I get a full refund if they can not recover my money. Trying to fight that one now, they were smart can't use a CC with them only a bank transfer. Moral to my story if you get suckered into a time share live with it, the cost is much less than trying to get rid of it.

Does anyone know about marketing alliance group limited

i was contacted by daniel nelson from denver colorado of Timeshare Closing management no upfront fee but legal closing cost $500, this sites i saw 1 problem with him i am so glad i found this site, anyone problem with him too?

what is his real estate lic. number ?

We have been contact my Timeshare Closing Management also - how did your interaction end? if it did? were they legit?

lets help prosecute these scammers we work sooo hard and they just want the easy money like drugs dealing. all atty generals this should be a priority

Was contacted by a NY phone number. The company is called 9W Capital Investments. This is too good to be true, right? I see they want to pay almost double what I purchased my timeshare for back in 2008/2009. I'm looking at the contract and they want me to sign by this Thursday (in 2 days).

--- here is some info in the contract ---
GENERAL TERMS OF PURCHASE OFFER

Due Diligence: Purchaser requires appropriate feasibility and due diligence for their use prior to Act of Sale. It is estimated that approximately five (5) days are needed, after full execution of a Purchase Agreement, to perform that inspection of the Property and to remove contingencies and obtain necessary permits.

Act of Sale: Shall occur thirty (30) days after expiration of due diligence and not later than sixty (60) days from date of Purchase Agreement. All fees incurred by Seller to render Sellers´s Title valid and merchantable including transfer fees, loan balances, and all assessments bearing against the Property at the time of closing shall be paid by the Purchaser with the exception of the following: a. costs of Seller´s attorney, if any, and b. brokerage fee of six percent (6%).

Purchase Agreement: To be prepared upon mutual acceptance of the terms of this Letter of Intent and delivered to the Seller within three (3) days of acceptance of this Letter of Intent. The Purchase Agreement shall contain provisions customary for a transaction of this size and nature, including representations and warranties and closing conditions as are mutually agreeable to the parties.

Expiration of Offer: This Letter of Intent shall constitute an open offer until 15 October 2015, at which time it shall be automatically terminated if not executed by Seller. Upon acceptance of this Letter of Intent, Purchaser shall deposit by direct transfer the full purchase price including any entitled reimbursement payments as a refundable deposit pending execution of Purchase Agreement. Escrow Holder shall deposit such sum in an interest-bearing, federally insured transaction account with interest accruing for the benefit of the Purchaser.

The parties agree that this Letter of Intent is not binding and is not intended to create any agreement or obligation by either party to negotiate a definitive Purchase Agreement and imposes no duty on ether party to continue negotiations. The parties intend that neither shall have any contractual obligations to the other with respect to the matters referred herein unless and until a definitive Purchase Agreement has been fully executed and delivered to Seller within three (3) business days of acceptance of this Letter of Intent.

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what do you guys think? scam, right? :)

Premium marketing sold me with a promise to sell timeshare using Orlando office. Paid $1500 upfront. I'm on disability and having used it for years. Sounded like a good deal. After paying I've never heard from them again

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can also contact your state and local consumer protection agencies.

Has anybody had any dealings with D&D Closing out of San Diego ,Dave Randall or John (Tony) Vargas,or Carlos Miranda from Banamex in Mexico City? Are they legitimate? I am afraid we are being scammed on a large scale, with repeated calls saying more money is needed for federal notary, etc...

Have been contacted by them for closing a sale brokered by Dreamscape Destinations. Have not decided if it is a scam or not yet.

I am convinced they are a scam. They repeatedly asked for more money because the "wire transfer was sent to the wrong bank, or delivered to the wrong address. Do not trust them. We checked with a Mexican attorney, and he said there is not erasure of records fee, and that when he checks with Banamex, there was no Carlos Miranda. Run away and save yourself thousands of dollars. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. D & D closing isn't listed in San Diego liscensed businesses, either.And Dave Randall refused to give me information on who the parent company is, though a search of the website shows that the owner is from Puerto Vallerta, Mexico.

I have received a phone call from Property management Plus offering to pay more than I have in the timeshare, after sending them some money for RFC we finally realized they are continuing to want more. Stay away!

Anyone heard of atsa group? they are calling me for my timeshare and they want me to pay the closing costs up front.

Has anyone heard of Laura Baker or Emerald City Property Services out of Seattle, WA? I think my husband and I were scammed by this group! Sounds very similar to everyone else

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