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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

Comments

I got a call yesterday and today from Daniel Reese of Wonderful Realty. I Googled the address and it looks dodgy. There's been a lot of calls lately. Last week, it was from a company called Bedbookers. Why is there a surge of these calls wanting to purchase timeshares?

How was Sales with Wonderful Realty Corp?
Did they sell your Time Share for you and you received the Final Sales Amount Money? Just curious.

Has anyone heard of TheConsultants Firm International in Colorado Springs? I was about to go forward until they needed a wire to a Mexican holding company associated with Diversified Investment Holdings, Inc., in Colorado Springs for $3250 for a Mexican Foreign Transaction fee they claimed just came up to pay up front and to be reimbursed at closing in a quick amount of time, less then 30 days. I am not comfortable paying up front, that is what escrow is for dividing up the funds and closing costs.

Legca can you tell me the names of the people that contacted you from TCFI and DIH.

The people that contacted me from The Consultants Firm were Troy Johnson, Richard Wells and Robert Hill. The only person at Diversified Investment Holdings who has communicated with is Angela Baker.

Kind where do you stand with TCFI AND DIH

Hi LEGCA: Did you finally proceed with this? I am on the same situation of you. I was contacted by The Consultants International firm and Diversified Investment Holding. I have tried to check if this is a scam or not, but I am far far away from USA so it turns into a really difficult task. I am almost sure to proceed, but not 100%.

Read about selling your timeshare through a 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.

We've recently been contacted by Wonderful Realty Corp too. The offer from their "buyer" is too good to be true. Their website looks somewhat legit but the address seems to be a residence and I can't find ANYTHING else out about them until I stumbled on this thread.

Has anyone used,or heard of PNA Marketing out of Los Angeles , CA.
Any information would help ! Thanks

Wonderful Realty Corp is a scam. They contacted myself about my
Timeshare. After questioning them about the the legitimacy of their business and telling them I would not send any taxes or fees in advance, they quickly ended the call saying they would, with in the hour, send me information to prove they were legit. Have not heard from them since.

Just received a call from Wonderful Realty as well. He will be sending me information. I'll see what happens.

I received a call from George Galas at Wonderful Realty Corp. several weeks ago (around mid-February). After some correspondence, via email and phone calls, I gave them my timeshare details and received a "Proposal" to purchase my Resort membership in Cancun, Mexico. I signed it, acknowledging that it was not legally binding, letting them know I would like to proceed, and emailed it back. Next I received an email from Matthew Cabrera, Head Escrow Officer with Asset Advantage, LLC. He sent me a "Presentation Letter" and a "Trust Account Application." The application is to a bank in Mexico City, MX called CitibanAmex. It is asking for general information, including my Identification number, which I assume means my SSN . I haven't completed the Application yet, but I assume that the "catch" is that the Mexican government will need to receive a tax payment before they can release the money from Wonderful Realty Corp. in the Trust! I have been down that road before (with a different company) and sent some money, and then was repeatedly asked to send more money. I don't know if that is what Wonderful Realty Corp will do, but I will see what happens next and find out if they are a scam!
Bob in Colorado

So, I was contacted by Wonderful Realty as well. Has anyone had an outcome yet? All of the above has happened to me and now I'm felling pretty screwed. I really hope this is not a scam.

I did the same thing. First it was the Mexican income tax and then it was was the Mexican state tax that they didn't realize was being accessed....and now they are saying a penalty from the Mexican Federal Government is issued because the state tax was not paid on time. I feel pretty dumb that I gave them any money. I asked them for their credentials but wasn't given it initially. I asked again and they sent me a copy of a business card with Willam D Rigneys (Senior Broker) info on it and a link to check the numbers out on a NY website. But now I've waisted too much time so the "buyers" want out... now they sent a letter saying I owe the 4% commission because I was a breach of contract. Anyone have any other info?

We have been dealing with Wonderful Realty Corp out of Flushing New York. We were told of the same BS and they sent us deposit account in CitibanaMex account showing deposits by the so-called buyers. They know say for transfer of property, Mexico requires a $5800 fee. We then said no. Not going to add more money. They are threatening us with penalty for breach, etc. What has been your outcome? We think it is a total scam.

Same exact thing happened to us. They are still calling us to fullfill the contract. Did you resolve your dispute wit them?

I am wondering if anyone out there has had any dealings with Universal Realty Plus or AAA management both in NYC for selling a time share in Mexico?

We have had numerous calls/emails by a N.Y. City brokerage called “Universal Real Estate.” Now, the only thing to finishing the deal on our selling our Mexican timeshare is to send $3,500 USD in escrow fees which they assure us has been paid 100% by the buyer. I’m not ‘buying’ this. Anyone else has/had dealings with Universal Real Estate Brokerage in New York??

Can you bequeath the timeshare in a will to the developer, or to some person overseas?

Hello! Has anyone heard of Travel Suns? They have Law practice representing them in CA on the sale of our timeshare. They have asked for no money upfront. I am waiting to see what the scam is? Anyone have any dealings with Cheryl Anne Debari? Thanks!

Oh Wow! Actually I am currently receiving multiple calls from Travel Suns and have spoken to Ethan Diaz, Roberto Moreno, Brian Salazar and a lot more people who claim to be with the company. When they first approached me I specifically told them that I would not be parting with any money upfront for the sale of my travel package. After several weeks and multiple calls from them and from the lawyers who apparently are representing them and ME - Esther Anzir Smith in Oregon, USA , I am now told that I have to send in USD $4500 before I can receive any payments. I am not getting extremely suspicious!

The schemes are elaborate with many people involved. We have had two encounters in the last three months:
1) "Quickbeds" arranged with "Attorney James Wright" to settle our contract with no money to be paid by us. Red flag #1 - could not verify that James Wright had an office at the listed address (called the security office for the building. Red flag #2 - very limited info on Google for the attorney. Red flag #3 - my resort "wouldn't allow" a 3rd party to pay closing costs so I had to wire money to them. As I was ready to send the money (!) I called the member office and was advised that any transfer is handled in Las Vegas, not Mexico and the fee is $500, not 10%. We backed away!
2) "The Way to Travel Marketing" contacted us because "Volaris" wanted to buy our timeshare. Escrow company "Goldburg Holdings and Trust" sent a contract and (surprise!) section 9 said that we had to pay the Registro Federal de Contribuyentes (RFC) fee (5% of the closing amount ) to Servico de Administration Tributaria (SAT) in order to receive a transfer certificate that could be sold. Prior to calling to question this I called the building listed as their address and they could not confirm that Golburg had an office there. After discussing the contract I asked "Ryan" at Goldburg where they were located, then what suite. He said they had the whole 4th floor. I called the office building back and they said the 4th floor is vacant. Another failed attempt to get our money. I think we will just keep our vacation club and enjoy it!

Has anyone heard of Travel Suns in Mexico? and Esther Anzir Smith, attorney in Oregon, USA representing Travel Suns? I was approached to sell a Travel package that we purchased with promises of paying us almost double what we paid. Even though I made it clear that I would not be sending any money to them before getting paid. I have been told that I have to send $4500 to an attorney in Mexico and that I will get reimbursed for it - AFTER I PAY! I was encouraged to call PROFECO to confirm that this is a legit company. Anyone heard of them before? TRAVEL SUNS?

Might be careful of RPR, Inc. in Charlotte...claiming to sell MX timeshare/membership … check with NC Attorney General Scams Bureau (or for that matter any State AG's office) to see if company is legit that state. Good Luck.

Looks like this blog has been dormant but here goes. I received an email and phone call from a company called Ace Properties advising they would purchase my timeshare that i only paid 2100.00 usd for 22,190 usd. I just finished speaking to rep that says the only fees so far is the 5% commission. After i negotiated now down to3% ( i sale real-estate full time) she said i would need to open up an escrow account where my proceeds would be deposited via a title company called 1913 Capital Group out of NY that is licensed to do international business. Also, i won’t be paying a fee for them to handle the sale the buyer of my membership will take care of that. She also mentioned I would need to obtain a FBAR which is a temporary “business permit” to conduct business 3rd party in Mexico. Has anyone heard of or dealt with any of these entities or can offer some guidance. TIA

Beware of RPR, Inc. (Royalty Properties Real Estate, Inc.) Charlotte, NC; no such business address. Looking for a "seller" payment for MX bank escrow set up via Excel Title, LLC, Minneapolis. Check with NC State Attorney, Scams Bureau.

Has anyone heard of Nordic Commodity? Or Tabor Financial? I think I may be in the middle of a scam. Nordic Commodity, the buyers rep, and Tabor Financial, the escrow agency, call a lot but don't leave messages. All I have signed is a statement of interest that says the agreement is not legally binding. They don't seem to want to but anything else in writing or in an email. They seem to be getting antsy because I don't return their calls right away. Today, I called and left a message at the escrow company. And the buyers agent called soon after. When I spoke to him, I started asking a few questions and he asked me if I was still interested in the deal. I told him we didn't even have a deal yet, because there was no contract. Later this afternoon, I got a call from Tabor, who said she got an email from Nordic saying that I had a lot of questions. Well of course I have a lot of questions, I don't have any information on process, etc. They want me to set up an escrow account - so I told them I could do that without directly with the bank so I didn't have to share my id with them. We'll see if they ever call back.

Did anything ever go through with this? I have been contacted by Nordic Commodity and Tabor Financial as well.

Has anyone worked with Nordic and Tabor and actually received payment

Has anyone heard of Realty Alliance LLC. In Boston. They called me and said they would help me sell my timeshare. Also Tje NY escrow services llc. If any one has any info I would appreciate it.

Watch out for The Brokerage Group in NY on Hudson St. It is not a legit company and they are targeting Mexican timeshares especially Royal Resorts, They don't ask for any money up front and they seem very professional but cannot verify any of their information. Capital 85 is their escrow company and they have a website but domain is only a few months olds. I believe that at some point they would have asked for a money transfer but I didn't stick around long enough,

Has anyone ever been contacted by Empire City Brokerage? They offer 3x the amount that I paid for my timeshare. They were also working with Demand & Escrow LLC.

I've also been contacted in the past 3 weeks by David Penn at Empire City Brokerage. They have offered me twice the amount for my timeshare and are working with Demand & Escrow LLC. My husband just searched the intranet and found a website that found these two companies listed on a timeshare scam database. Do you have anything more you can share?

I was contacted by Empire City Brokerage and they offered about 3X the amount that I aid and to pay off the balance that I owe . They even sent me a statement showing the money is in escrow at Citibanamex showing full amount plus the money that I would receive and the additional fees that I would be reimbursed for a Mexican Tax ID - But I need to send the $2,975 to Demand and Escrow to apply for the number because they can only make one withdrawal from the account. I am skeptical about the paying fees up front thing. What was your experience?

We have been contacted but Empire City Brokerage and signed an agreement or contract. We now believe it is a scam. Any thoughts by anyone how to get out of the contract. They want more and more money to keep moving forward.

This FTC article about Timeshares and Vacation Plans has tips about selling your timeshare.

we are trying to sell a timeshare in cocoa beach florida thru the brokerage groupllc in new york. they say they are selling it to a mexican grouup and that a japanese company are buying these units in mexico. it is also known thru info@ capital 85. com what do you know about these

Does anyone has done business with Woodland Properties and Limite Equity Properties? They want to buy my timeshare. The buyer already deposited the funds of the sale agreement in an account that I signed to get an opened at the CitiBanamex, but I called many times yesterday and the telephone number provided in the back account contract is not valid. What should I do?

Any luck? My parents are being made the same offer from Woodland and LEP. Was it a scam?

I'm also looking to do business with Woodland. What came of the transaction?

I was also contacted by Woodland Properties. Is this legitimate?

I was contacted by Ace Properties LLC (Philadelphia, PA) using 1913 Capital Group(New York) as Title Company offering to buy my timeshare as well. I stopped when I received a contract asking for me to pay 5,872.00 USD RFC Tax Payer I.D. Reimbursement that supposedly I would be reimbursed at closing. Red flags went up !!! Funds supposedly being held in Citibanamex in Mexico in an irrevocable trust. My sister has a timeshare she is trying to sell and the company helping her said the fact that they want to put money in a trust is another red flag, should just be placed in escrow account.

Why aren't any of the newer comments and questions posted on here? I've left a comment/question a month ago and the last posts are from Jan. Of 2020

So, it looks like the scams continue! I have been contacted by a company called Realty Consultants Inc who claim to have a buyer for my Timeshare in the Riviera Maya - Mexico. They have asked for my contract details and have given this information to an escrow company in NY. The escrow company sent me (what looked like) a Citibanamex escrow account in my name with triple the value of my Timeshare plus the additional fees to obtain a Mexican Tax ID. They provided me with a detailed Bank Wire instruction for $3720.USD which they claim I must send to purchase the Mexican Tax ID. I have a very good bank here in Canada and they refused to send it (twice) saying it is a scam. BE CAREFUL FOLKS!!! The scammers are everywhere and they usually strike when people are most vulnerable...

I have be contacted by Dynamic Trusted Brokers. They want to sell my timeshare. Are they a scam? They say no money up front.

I was contacted by Empire Brokerage from New York City. They claim that they have a buyer for our Very Nice and High end Timeshare in Cancun for an amount that is about 4 times what we had originally paid for it. OF course they wanted some UPFRONT FEES that cover supposed Mexican Taxes that are supposedly "Refundable" and are added to the Purchase price from their "Client" who wants to gain a major interest of Timeshares in the Facility that we bought into. They sent us a proposal, then a Application to Open up a Trust Supposedly they will pay the Mexican Real Estate Tax and yet they ask for me to pay this tax upfront even though it is already included in the purchase price . They also claim that I will need to secure a Mexican Tax ID from Mexico so the international transaction can go forward, Which is another $2,545 Payable to Empire. This Tax Id is to "Make Sure" I am not a Cartel member laundering money. This is a scam. First of all Anyone who knows anything about selling any type of real estate, the exchange of money for property is done through an ESCROW account, not a TRUST account. In fact, Trust accounts are not the proper or legal vehicle by which these types of purchases are conducted. BE AWARE, Empire Brokerage is a SCAM and they will take your money. DO NOT Sign anything, DO NOT give them any information DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY. We did not give them one cent. When we asked them about the inconsistencies that we were witnessing, they stopped calling us and we have not heard a peep from then since. BE AWARE OF THESE SCAM OPERATIONS QUESTION EVERYTHING. DON'T BE DUPED! DO NOT GIVE ANYONE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION !

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