Be on the lookout for timeshare resale phonies
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.
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.