Con artists prey on victims of timeshare resale scams

Con artists are trying to steal money from people by falsely claiming they are associated with the federal courts, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The imposters tell people they are entitled to refunds as part of cases brought by the FTC against companies that engaged in timeshare resale fraud. People are told they must pay several hundred dollars in “court costs,” “processing fees” or “filing fees” to get their refunds. The scammers may use an actual FTC case number to lend some legitimacy to their pitch. DO NOT GIVE THESE IMPOSTERS MONEY. THIS IS A SCAM. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money to get a refund. The imposters also have impersonated Florida attorneys in an effort to convince people to pay their “fees.” 

If you get a call from someone claiming they can get you a refund for a fee, report it to the FTC. Visit Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Tagged with: fraud, imposter, refunds, scam, travel
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

How do I find a reputable company, in dealing with Timeshares? It seems like it is difficult to trust anyone anymore. I appreciate any assistance.

Does anyone know if World Wide Resort Exchange is an OK company to do business with?

Don't do it. It looks like they are being investigated.

how do I go about filing a complaint Re: Time Share Fraud. I received your info from the Bureau of Compliance in Fl.

Green ridge equity international contacted me, saying that they had a buyer for my timeshare but asked me for an upfront fee.I did my research on th. Company and its.a.complete fraud please read an. Do your research on this company and do not.send them money.

Grand Weeks, Essential Resorts, Signature Residence Club, Signature Integrated Travel Systems, et al... All scams! After doing our own investigating in order to convince our credit card company that they are indeed connected frauds, we found that they all claim to have US offices, which are only mail drops at print shops(a simple reverse address search revealed this), their website servers all have the same IP address (another simple search online shows same computer, same location, different business names and sites), and they all promise the same benefits and con game. They even run the con from the same locations... One of them being at Cabo Viejo Luxury Estates in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I am taking this evidence to our Attorney General, hoping they can put some pressure on Mexico to deal with the many travel service scams coming out of Mexico.

Sadly, it appears that we have been misled and scammed by buying into Cabo Viejo in Los cabos mexico. Everything that was promised to us are all lies. Unfortunately, we have signed a contract. We are in talks with our credit card provided to file the scam issue but we are unsure how the contract will have to be void and null since it's all fraud. Any advise is appreciated.

Hi Linda, I just saw this. I purchased at Cabo Viejo in April 2014. Just now finding out there is a big problem. Equity Annuity Trust offered the buy back. They used Elite Equity Transfers to transfer my existing timeshare in Maui. EET used Duncan Title & Escrow to actually do the paperwork for the transfer. It was DT&E that alerted me that EET is a fraudulent company and is now shut down by the FBI. I paid EAT payments with my Mastercard. I called Citibank and they credited those payments back, and are investigating. I called EAT & spoke with Frank Harrington who was the original person I dealt with. He insists the buyback is lagitamate and wants to recharge my mastercard. This is where I am at this time.
How did you make out with the Attorney General? I would love to hear from you. Maybe your experience will help me. Hopfully you will see this comment soon. The original purchased was paid by RCI (Barclaycard) which account was opened on the spot at Cabo Viejo. I am going to call them right now to see what they can do for me.
Thanks

What is a "buy back"? Is the problem trying to get out of it before the annuity term has run or something else? Zoey and Linda, what were the "lies" that Cabo Viejo timeshares sales people told about Equity Annuity Trust? We have one day to rescind.

HI ZOEYB214 SADLY I ALSO FELL VICTOM TO CABO VIEJO SALES SCAM. I ALSO SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH THEM. HAVE YOU FOUND ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THIS COMPANY THAT MIGHT HELP ME PROVE TO MY CREDIT CARD COMPANIES THAT THIS IS A SCAM?

Do you mind explaining how you got the credit card company to refund your money and how long it took? BofA is a nightmare to deal with. I would love advice on how to get them to refund money from complete scam/bogus companies that used bogus forms etc. Thank you.

This FTC article explains how to dispute credit card charges.

Has anyone dealt with Timeshare International Advocacy? They claim they can get me out of my timeshare contract.

Do not trust them at all I have heard of them no good at all

I would love to know why you state that Timeshare Advocacy International is not to be trusted and that they are not good at all. Is this a timeshare developer's site where the only information given on any company that helps timeshare owners out of the timeshares is considered a scam? Check out the Timeshare Users Group for the same useless information.

It sounds like this person commenting about Timeshare Advocacy International works for a timeshare company.

Timeshare companies have people commenting all over the place, especially on TUG (Timeshare Users Group). All they do is try to scare people out of trying to get rid of their timeshares!

I live in the city where Timeshare Advocacy International is located. My friend, who is also my eye doctor, had a timeshare and paid Timeshare Advocacy International to get rid of his timeshare. He got out AND got a refund from the resort in Mexico. How is that a no good???

They have awesome reviews on the BBB

They even won a lawsuit against Wyndham resorts:

Get your facts straight and actually do some homework people, because blasting legitimate companies that help people, only keeps more people stuck.

Looks like they turned out to be a fake.. all of their numbers are disconnected and emails are no longer valid, and BBB has removed them do to reports. Place of business even appears to be closed. They too take your money and you hear nothing further and there is no refund from timeshare investments given back.

Has anybody dealt with Alpha Services Inc in Columbia South Carolina

I am also looking to see if anyone has heard of this company Alpha Services Inc. I need to find out if they are ligament. have you found anything out?

They called me as well and worked with a company in Topeka KS called Trust Company of America. I would like to know if anyone has worked with them. Seems like a scam to me.

I am also in conversation with ALpha Services (Mike Patel) and Trust Co. of America (Patrick Fitzgerald). IIt sounds a lot like the mexico bank wire scams I read about on line - and one case that mentions Alpha servies specifically. I asked Patel about that, and he said it was two individuals who acted on their own inappropriately and are no longer with the company. Still- $29K for my $6K timeshare ... ??? ANy more news??

I was suppose to have the closing yesterday and their phones all filled with voice messages both Pat Fitzergald (785-783-0568) and Carlos Miller and Mr. Ross probably not their reall names (803-591-9072). How can I be so stupid, don't trust these losersand I hope the Federal Exchange or Feds does some thing terminal to these losers!

My grandparents are being contacted by Interval Relief in Doral, FL telling them they will be locked into paying their timeshare maintenance fees for life--even if they sell the units. They are tying to get them to pay money up front and claim they will take over the timeshare and maintenance fees. This sounds like fraud to me. Anyone know?

We have been trying to get our name off the deed to our timeshare and went thru a company called TimeShare Relief, after a year and a half the company was bought out by Property Relief. We initially we paid $2500 to the first company. The second company failed to pay our maintenance fee, so we had to pay $495.00 to the resort to keep from being sent to a collection agency. Now Property Relief is asking us to send $499.00 to a company called Nevada National Advertising Inc. to pay for a attorney to get our name off the deed. Is this a legitimate company or are we being scammed?

You may want to research the company by checking with your State Attorney General or of the state where the company is located. The FTC article Timeshares and Vacation Plans gives you advice if you're looking to resell your deeded timeshare.

Have you sent money to Nevada National yet?

Hi, Have you read posts regarding Nevada National that are listed here during Oct-Nov. If you have sent them any $ or had any contacts with them, would you mind sharing. I sent them money in April and nothing but "we're working on it" so far.

So, Is the Nevada National group legite or not?

I too have been "working" with Nevada National but since August 2014 and don't seem to be getting anywhere. Have you had any success?

Was wondering if Property relief Consultants was a con or for real? What was your out come?

A company called Final sales Unlimited to buy my timeshare,,,they want 1500 dollars plus.I say its a scam, the guys were super nice and promised a lot. Any info? Florida based

Timeshare industry is known for being very susceptible to scams; however, timeshare properties are still a successful business for most resorts. In these times of rough economy, it is important to take care of our money, and timeshares are not in the way to achieve the financial security that we are all looking for.

Has anyone heard of or had any dealing with Beacon Hill Travel Service or Cas Holding Corporation? They are trying to tell my husband and I that they have a buyer in Mexico for my timeshare. And after signing a "contract" with them I have to pay a Mexico tax upfront and then get reimbursed at the "closing." And, if we don't pay the upfront fee, that they have already put our timeshare in an escrow and will keep it or sell it on us. Are they legitimate companies or are we being scammed?

This is known in the industry as a chop shop. I am sure that they are requesting the money be sent by wire transfer to an account with a Mexican bank. Should you actually pay this they will then come back in a couple of weeks with another demand. Some folks have been bilked of their money as many as 8 times before saying enough is enough. These are usually the high dollar prospects that have allowed greed to cloud their judgement.
In short, do no proceed. The contract that you signed carries no legitimacy and they do not have any control over your timeshare.

CAS and Beacon Hill Travel assumed names of businesses that have been closed for several years. Assuming those established names and then providing addresses in MA seem to provide cover for these people, however they choose MA because it is one of only five states in the US that does not have regulations regarding escrow companies. Additionally they work together in an enterprise that offers sales connections almost immediately for time shares. How do they do that you might ask? They make it up! All they are really after is the $3500.00 for the "10% Mexican capital gains tax", which is actually a little more than that. The people in charge are not legitimate, they don't even have a real person named as their CEO.

They are definitely a fraud. Tell them you will come to their office to do your contract and see how they react. You do not have to pay any money up front to sell a time share in Mexico.

I have been contacted by James Henderson and Robert Pierce to sell my timeshare and have verified their business, FINAL SALES UNLIMITED as a business in FLORIDA. They got my closing money, $1298. to sell to buyers. Thomas Bifalco Jr. is owner/manager. Please let me know if you have any information about them. They have called to say i would recieve documents by Xdate and it didn't occur. Now their phones are full of messages and I can't reach them. Any attorney who are representing other victims to them, please let me know.

Have been contacted by Final Sales Unlimited that they have a buyer for my timeshare & needs 1250.00 to do a title search which will then allow the close to happen in my city at my local abstract office. The individuals I have dealt with are Christopher Andrews & James Henderson & the sales agent to my potential buyer is Robert Pierce also. They will only accept a wire transfer which I will not do. Would welcome other posts or comments.

I too have been contacted by the company Final Sales Unlimited. I dealt with Robert Pierce and James Henderson. They promised they had a buyer for our Cabo timeshare. They told me I needed to wire money for title transfer. Now I can not get a hold of them. I want to know how to get our money back and stop them from doing this to others!

Worked with Alpha Services. I am hoping to join Class Action Suit for the scams perpetrated by this company. I have all the documentation provided by this company as a paper trail to stop these fraudulent transactions . I refuse to be a victim. Please people ....waste of time working with unscrupulous individuals.

Has anyone hard of a company that buys and sells Timesharing named Regency Consulting Group, INC? 123 W. 1st St. Suite 675, Casper, wy. They said they had a buyer and sent me a copy of the buyer name, address and telephone number. I contacted the BBB and I contact the States Attorney in Casper, WY. Nothing has been filed against them negatively and I was inquiring about their legititmacy.

Regency just called me with a similar offer. Did you sell through them and if so, did it go well? Did you find anything negative about them?

I had a very similar call myself. I've accepted the offer and struggling with the thought of sending them a check for 783.12 to cover the fees. I've sent my "rep" Tony Parker an email asking him if the buyer would pay this for a reduced price. We will see what he comes back with.

JT please don't send these jerks any money. we sent Tony Parker of Regency Consulting Group in Wyoming 1900.00 plus an additional 787.00 for costs to sell our time share and now he has disappeared from the face of the earth. We were supposed to close Friday and get a check 8/23 and still have nothing and he has not called us. Sure he will contact you and say this is all bull until he gets what he needs and then you will end up with no calls or check. Save your money and according to my time share at Grand View Las Vegas, only a licensed realtor can sell your time share and you should not have to out up any money upfront. Please do not deal with these idiots. They should be shutdown and prosecuted. Somehow something needs to be done to get these crooks out of business. The system does not always work in our favor and it wont be until this thing blows up like a Bernie Madoff thing and some really wealthy people get screwed, then may it draw some attention. Ask Tony who Eric Baxter is and don't let him con you for more money due to some tax thing in Florida or something. PLEASE DONT GET SCREWED. SAVE YOUR MONEY.

Add another couple duped by Tony Parker. Like the others,we expected an imminent sale but found the website gone and the phone out of service when we inquired yesterday.

he FBI site in 2012 recommended making a complaint with your state attorney general and the IC3.
We are in Canada so don't have a state attorney general

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/february/timeshare-fraud_021712

Same situation here? Any recent insight on this?

I am going through the same process with Regency Consulting Group and Tony Parker. We are supposed to get our check next week but he called saying the buyer moved to Florida and didn't realize the added property tax so we needed to pay an additional $455. I asked him to simply lower the sale cost to match because I wasn't comfortable paying AGAIN.

He said he would get back to me tomorrow. Has anyone had any other luck with this?

Don, I am going through the same thing with Tony Parker. Did you ever follow up and go forward with your selling? I am very concerned if this is legit or not. I did not know where you stood.

still waiting for the same thing since Friday 8/22/2014 with Tony on our closing and check. he has not responded to my 8 messages I have left him. cross my fingers. I am in it already almost 3000.00

same here on this process with regency consulting group and Tony Parker. We were supposed to close Friday 8/22/2014 and also paid 787.00 extra for added tax the buyer wanted this in Florida. Tony was dealing with the buyers agent named Eric Baxter and I cannot reach this person. The phone rang thru his voice mail on Friday 8/22 and today 8/25 the number will not go thru. I have called Tony and just get his voice mail. My final docs and check were supposed to be here Friday.

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