Timeshare resale fail

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If you’re thinking of selling a timeshare, the FTC cautions you to question resellers — real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares. They may claim that the market in your area is “hot” and that they’re overwhelmed with buyer requests. Some may even say that they have buyers ready to purchase your timeshare, or promise to sell your timeshare within a specific time. All they need is an upfront fee to get the ball rolling. Well, hold onto your money and read on.

Today, the FTC is charging the operators of a timeshare reselling scheme with bilking at least $15 million from timeshare owners by charging upfront fees of as much as $2,500 — or more — with promises they would rent or sell the properties. As time passed, the defendants would ask owners for more money, claiming the sale was about to take place and even characterizing the additional fees as closing costs. When the promises weren’t kept, consumer requests for refunds were routinely denied or ignored. Not anymore. At the FTC’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted the operation while the FTC seeks to permanently stop the illegal practices and get money back for consumers.   

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                                                   

                                                                                                                                      Timeshare Resale Scams Infographic

For more information, see 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


Just got contacted by a company called
Capitol Real Estate Solutions LLC saying they have a buyer and offering a lot of money for my timeshare, anyone ever heard of them

Hi Murray, yes, I was just contacted by them as well (see my comment just above yours). It completely rings of "scam", just as everyone is describing here.

Very Informative Blog.Thanks for sharing such a useful Information.

I received a phone call from a company called Trip Joy Advantage. They lure people into buying their timeshares by offering "free plane tickets". Thank God I did not fall for their scam as I am way too educated but I read about other individuals who have fallen for this. This company owns resorts in New England and elsewhere. The particular resort she was trying to promote is called Harbor Walk Resort in Falmouth.

Has anyone ever heard of Federal National Holdings out of San Antonio TX? Or Rocky Mountain Marketing Services?
NFH is allegedly an Escrow company, similar story Got a buyer for your TS etc. Just seems too easy. Thanks

All of these sound so familiar. I have been contacted by international real estate solutions inc. offering to buy my timeshare for a lot more than it is worth. They are going to take 7% off at the end of the dealing but want almost 6k in advance, which will be reimburse, for the rfc tax number for mexico. Big red flag went up there and then another when the same company called me but with a different representative offering me the same thing. I am no longer dealing with them. They were also using west united services for the escrow account and using citbanamax bank. I wouldn't trust these people. Beware.

We bought our timeshare with Silverleaf Resorts in 1989 and after two years they talk of upgrading to a higher level that we might be interested and it was so cheap! From 1989 they always send us an invitation for a free weekend getaway and dinner. When you get there, they will not leave you alone even if you said No, were not interested. We feel we were interrogated by law enforcement no way out until you said Ok! At the time we were unaware how timeshare work with their victims. The maintenance fee always go up every year for 95.00/month plus monthly payment. Since 2012 and to the present time, we have not used even once on our vacation time because it's too far for us to drive located in Florida (they didn't tell us the unit they were selling is in Florida) They lied but was able to convince us to go ahead and buy it (because we just want to get away from them) Another illegal tactics of misrepresentation and we are the victims of deceptive practice and fraud. I did not mail this month's payment because I am going to file a complaint to FTC and the Atty General's Office here in Texas. I don't care anymore if they'll report us to the credit bureau, all I want is justice for me and my husband and our heirs.

Has anyone heard of Interval Title and Transfer in Orlando, FL? I received an offer from a buyer, and there is no commission fee. Can't find a website, but has on line bbb stamp of approval.

Just received the same phone call and offer. They have no website. Have you learned anything else about this company?

J.W....do you have the name and phone of the person that contacted you? The numbers I had are disconnected!

There are not on the Better Business Bureau. They say they are with the Online Business Bureau. Very misleading. Be cautious.

wondering if you heard anything back on you post about Interval Title and Transfer I got a call today and I am somewhat skeptical

Hello! Who did you get a call from? Can you share their number? I think this place is a sham! Cannot get a call back and the number I was given is disconnected.

I had posted on here last week but can not find it. Again, I received a phone call from Ola Travels (Monterrey, MX) wanting to buy my time share in Cabo San Lucas. I asked for info and it was sent. I signed a non-binding paper so their "law division" could make sure I owned the place. The day after I received the "contract" after being told if I get this back asap, I could get my money within three days. They were offering me 10,000 over what I paid 4 years ago. My gut was telling me to check this out. Ola Travels did not have a website. And they wanted me to send the 8% commission to them rather than they take it out of the "check" they would send me. The contract was from a Constance A Smith in Sacramento, CA (I live in San Diego). Her "website" left a lot to be desired. I emailed Ola Travels and said I would not continue the process. They never responded to me email. On the contract was the bar card number for the lawyer. I went out on the web to check the number. It is the number of a lawyer firm in Southern CA. They hacked the website and entered Constance's email on the first page. She is not an employee of the firm. I did let the firm know. I was lucky because I stopped the process before any money was exchanged. I am thankful for that.

thank you for your post, I just received the same call from Ola Travels and also sent me the a proposal. Now I am certain that this is a scam.

I wish I would have seen your comments last week, we have been ripped off of over $9,000 by Ola Travels, Constance A Smith, and a supposedly Bank of MontrealNY, saying they had the money from the buyer, but needed us to pay the taxes before they would release the funds, the Bank of MontrealNY has a website, with a disconnected number, (found out too late)! I have filed a claim with the FTC and all they did was send me a helpful link talking about timeshare scams. Please don't fall for this like we did!

Thank you for reporting to the FTC. The information you gave in your report will go into a database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

You can also report to your state Attorney General and the Attorney General in the state where the business is based.

I've been contacted by Carlos at Ola Travels (they do have a web site) regarding Ola Travels purchasing our time share. I also received documents from Constance A Smith in Sacramento and talked to several folks out there...none of them sounded like an attorney though. The amount Ola Travels offered us was in line with what our timeshare would have cost us at Grand Solmar. We own $8500 on our "loan" and were told by Carlos that they could not obtain approval from Grand Solmar for us to sell it, however if we sent PROFECO a check for 10% of our selling price that PROFECO (a Mexican govt consumer protection agency) can over-ride the decision of Grand Solmar and PROFECO would send us a "Certificate Of Sale" so the lawyer could release the funds to be wired to us. We received all of the documents that EW listed above, as well as a document that looks like it was from PROFECO with the banking information for us to wire the $2,700 to. There have been a lot of red flags for me. 1-The 1-888-216-9989 number for the contact at PROFECO (Brenda Molina) didn't feel right for a Mexican government contact. I found the "real" phone number but don't understand enough Spanish to get through the menu. 2-The Law office of Constance A. Smith...I spoke with someone today that said she was Constance A. Smith but she sure didn't sound like I would expect a lawyer to sound, and we ended up getting disconnected when she was trying to find my "folder". So...all of this to say...there are a lot of things that make sense and every conversation I have with Carlos at Ola Travels, anyone at the Constance A. Smith "office", and the person I spoke to at the PROFECO office (that I still don't trust) all are the same and add up. But I just have this little nagging voice that says something is wrong! Anyone else have the same "voice"?

RK, listen to that inner voice, if it is too good to be true, it likely is. Honestly people, let's face reality, our timeshares are not worth more than we bought them for and no one is going to pay more for them. Just think about it and never send money to sell "your" timeshare.

Wise words!

Thanks for posting this and for all others who dealt with Ola Travel and Constance A. Smith "Law Offices". They were asking me for $7000 and after we said we don't have that kind of $, they lowered it to $2800. We always felt it was a SCAM, because we hadn't even moved forward with our timeshare (Grand SolMar in Cabo who tricked us into buying our other timeshare if we bought their package on that Valentine's Day)... Thank you and God Bless you.

Hi Magellan, you are the only person I've found on the internet that mentions Ola travels as a possible scam. They've contacted me to buy our Grand Sol Mar timeshare as well. I've been going back and forth with them for over a month just to try to make sure everything is legitimate before we move forward. I'm wondering at what point you were asked to send them money. We haven't signed contracts yet and it's through a different "law firm," that we received documents for sale. The thing I'm questioning is that they say they will pay the amount agreed upon, all the fees for closing, lawyer, transfer etc. And over phone they said they would most likely cover what is still owed on timeshare as well. But, that part is not in writing, nor is that amount added into the offer. When I asked them about it they said it depended on how much is still owed as to whether they would cover that amount. If not, we would have to pay off that amount first. I'm just not positive I should move forward. The only part that makes me want to move forward is that we can request the money be transferred from them into our account via a wire transfer, which would guarantee the money would be ours and they couldn't get it back or cancel a check or transaction once it was wired.

Did you go any further with this? Was the law firm you were dealing with The Law Offices of Emily M Brown in Cleveland? That was who OLA Travels told us they use in the US. We spoke with Emily Brown and she did not sound like an attorney.

Did you go any further with this? Was the law firm you were dealing with The Law Offices of Emily M Brown in Cleveland? That was who OLA Travels told us they use in the US. We spoke with Emily Brown and she did not sound like an attorney. We called the Ohio Supreme Court where all lawyers register and they have an Emily Brown but not the same one it appears. We are trying find out if this is all a scam as it seems. Same scheme - pay you a lot for your membership and then we have to send the agent a commission after we get our funds. They offer to wire the funds so that seems legit but this while thing seems a little fishy. When things seem to goo to be true they usually are. Just not sure what the catch is here if they wire the finds to us and we dont pay anyone anything until those funds are in our account.

I got this too. Contacted by Ola Travels a while ago. I did some digging. They had and have a site, looks barely passable for a travel agency, but the agent I used for my last vacation had a similar appearance to her site, so who am I to judge? I got my contract through "The Law Office of Emily M. Brown." They have a website and wouldn't you know it, one of the things they specialize in is timeshare sales. I too found Emily M Brown on the Superior Court of Ohio"s website. She works for a different law firm. She certainly doesn't have her own. The best part is when I Googled the address for the law office. I found an old website that is no libgee valid for "The Law Offices of Anna V. Brown." It has the same phone number, fax, address and the email is in the same format. It became clear that these clowns create a law firm until they swindle money from a few people, then they shut it down and carbon copy it with a new name for the next wave of victims. Do you research and NEVER send or even accept a wire. They'll have you name, address, account number and routing number.

OMG, I am dealing with Constance Smith and Ola Travels now but no money has been exchanged and thanks to your info there won't be. I even went on the CA bar association and of course the bar number matched. The email didn't so I have sent Constance Smith who practices in Carlsbad, CA an email explaining what is going on. The scammers are using an email info@ lawyerfirms. org..Ola Travel s does have a website now and everything seems to coinside with the information I could find online. I became skeptical when I received an email from Vidanta. I called the customer service number, not the number that was given to me, and customer service told me the phone number doesn't exist, the email was erroneous, and the person that sent the email doesn't exist. Wow, what a bunch of thieves. Owners beware.. everything seems to be legit. Please forward this to the real Constance Smith so that she can do something to redeem her license. I haven't heard back from her and am not sure she received my email. Thanks again.

Feel Like an IDIOT !, but I was scammed of $3,000. The fact the supposed "real" constance Is in San Antonio TX, and I just gotten a referral from A Irma Hernandez Law Office in San Antonio, saying the work with Constance and do Timer shares law, through me off to believe, but I didn't go to the next step that would have been another $6,000.. IT is so sad that we , as humans, do this to each other. I wish I had research further.

I posted about my dealings with McGinnis and Texas Title but have not seen it appear here yet. Or did it not go through ? Any chance those of us with the same connection can communicate with each other ?

Any info on a company called Asesga Marketing saying they sell timeshares to corporations?

The FTC has information about buying and selling a timeshare. Get tips on how to check out the timeshare and the reseller. 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.

I was also contacted by them. Searched, but could not find any complaints. I stupidly signed a contract, and when we contemplated sending money to Mexico, I was instructed that they are following a SCAM pattern, and not to send the money. Now they are threatening to sue me in the State of TN, and I will need to pay an $8,000 penalty fee (two time shares at $4,000 each), plus attorney fees, etc, etc. My son called the FBI and they said do not send money, sounds like standard scam. Now I am caught between a rock and hard spot. I am 70 years old, single and live on SS, cannot afford to lose the $6,000.00 they are insisting be wired to Mexico. I am so upset, do not need a big battle in my life. Wish I had never heard of them. They do talk a really good game. Unfortunately, I can find no evidence of fraud, although their website was just created three months ago. Their licenses are clean on paper. Do not know what to do

Has anyone else tried to recover their funds? I have gotten my money back from MXTrade. The key is not giving up without a fight.

can you tell me your steps to get the money back? I am trying but not sure what else to do

Still looking for information on a resale/broker company called Asesga Associates Marketing and Cantor Financial International. Wanted to buy my time shares, backed out of deal re: wiring money (6K) to Mexico. Now being threatened with law suit to be conducted in Tennessee. Traced websites to a Mexican individual as owner for both companies. They swear they are legit and will now force me to pay 8K in fees for not doing the deal. Anyone heard of them?

What happened with Asesga Associates Marketing?

Watch out for the Resort Release Scammers...Once you're on their 'radar' they call you everyday and several times a day and they use different phone numbers (local ones) without their name on it. They don't want to talk to you simply about their services and the details including the fees until they 'vet' you. You go thru about 3 'stages' of people and finally they might talk money/fees. But they want to get you to agree right now, first give us your credit card (it's a protection) number and them we'll send you the contract terms...Anyway, do NOT do it!!! Do you know they wanted to charge me a total amount of only $5328??? And this is a 'guaranteed deal' or your money back, right. Got a Timeshare attorney working for me for half that--figure...

Sell my Timeshare now, SMTN. I just paid them $1400.00 to market my Timeshare Global.Is this a scam or are they legal?

Has anyone had dealings with Colorado Real Estate Dynamics? They're another one that doesn't tell you until you have paperwork that there is a fee for visa permit reimbursement that the buyer has put in an escrow account (Citibanamex)but you need to wire to them ahead of time them will be paid at the end of the deal. DO NOT WIRE anything

I have been talking with them they never asked me for any money and I’m Skeptical about sending any information to 1 clear services out of New Jersey Matthew Evans ‭1 (973) 272-4112‬ matthewevans @ 1clearservices. com for the Ben and Max account for the escrowI was talking to a Jeffery Linn From Colorado real estate dynamics ‭+1 (866) 370-2927‬ . Not sure if they are Legit or not

Has anyone ever heard of or done business with Vacation Property Shop or SmartWebVacations.com?

Haydenfromcanada, I believe I responded to your comments earlier this year. Sorry to say, McGinnis management is a scam. Soon as I informed them I was going to use a lawyer to communicate with them, they dropped contact with me. Lost $1980 all together, so I feel fortunate that I had the smarts to look into it a little further before sending anymore money. Bottom line, we should never have to send money to sell our timeshare with a broker. I feel sorry for the people who never get to see these posts or get milked for more money than I. Some shameful people out there!

How about Travel Plus Acquisition Company and The Closing Source LLC? Sent me a contract. So far they haven't asked for any money. They said they will take 5% from the sale and mail me a certified check. I'm waiting for the "wire $$$" call. Has anyone dealt with these companies?

I’ve been contacted by Travel Plus just this week. I haven’t done anything yet with them, but I saw your post and wondered if the sale actually closed and did you get your money. I’m trying to find out if this company is legitimate. Thank you,

I'm dealing with both right now on our Grand Luxxe property. I've been given two references and talked to them both. They sound legit but when I asked the second one for his address so I could send hem a card to thank him for his help he put me on hold and then came back with an excuse to call me back. So far no call. I think they know I can figure out legitimacy if I have the address (Google Earth). Please let me know if you concluded a deal that was successful.

I just completed research to eliminate one scam and now have another possible one with Travel Plus AC & Closing Source. Do you know anything more since your post?

Constant research..the most elaborate scheme ever if it's not true. Now they are going to Register mail me a form that says I have no chance of loosing any money...a guarantee from Closing Source. It's for the 3250.00 fee to register as a foreign investor in MX. I have had opinions of two lawyers, 1 in Mexico, that there is no fee attached to that requirement. I have wire transfer instructions for the 3250.00...if I could only figure out who's bank account it is attached to.

I need to know too!! Everything is supposed to be a go but now they need $3250 for Mexico government from me to register the funds leaving Mexico for real estate not drug cartel etc!! I don’t know what to do!!! Closing date is to be February 9/18. I’m in Canada. Any advice is appreciated please!

I’ve been contacted by Travel Plus just this week. I haven’t done anything yet with them, but I saw your post and wondered if the sale actually closed and did you get your money. I’m trying to find out if this company is legitimate. Thank you,

Hi Patti. Did anything ever come of your offer from Travel Plus Acquisitions? They have sent something similar to my mother recently, so I'd like to know if there is any small chance they could be for real. (not holding my breath).

I have been contacted by them as well and agreed to go forward. Did you transaction close and did you receive the appropriate funds?


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