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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.

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2063 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

xxnz
April 06, 2018

In reply to by Links2

Evergreen contacted us too. Quick talker and quoted purchase amount 2 times original sales price.
Burned before
May 11, 2018

In reply to by xxnz

I've had 2 calls from Evergreen but really feel this is a scam as timeshares are almost worthless now days. I told them previously that 35 to 46K was ridiculous so they came back w a 15K offer. I'm sure it's a scam!
mere5
August 03, 2017
Do somebody know a CO. named escape with travels that offer to buy your timeshare and they use a lawyer office of " Constance A. Smith" in California? Then contacted us to make an offer for our timeshare in Pueblo Bonito, but we think it is a scam.
pop25
August 04, 2017

In reply to by mere5

I was contacted this week by "Escape with Travels"as well for Pueblo Bonito. The process they describe is using the Lawyer, and wiring money to me before I release or sign docs. Sounds too good to be true- so i am skeptical. Any other feedback on this company or this Lawyer?. No request for money upfront, commission 8% paid from proceeds. They want my first page of contract, and I am thinking there must be some other scam here...
AngryDupe
August 04, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Be very suspicious of a SCAM when: 1. They contact you out of the blue with all your timeshare info. and they know all about you 2. Did you contact the resort about selling? 3. They start asking for WIRE TRANSFERS up front with promises to pay you back at closing because the Buyer is responsible for these 4. Never send wire transfers to anyone you do not know. Per my bank's wire transfer team: The beneficiary bank has no obligation to trace or refund the money to. Once the money goes out over wire, it is a GIFT...gone! The Mexican government does not require taxes and fees when selling or buying a timeshare. If you are a US citizen, it just a membership, not deeded property. If you signed documents and they threaten to "take you to court" for payment of fees or commissions, I bet is just empty threats to get you to pay the money. Talk to the FTC, state attorney's office in your state, local authorities, etc. I bet they won't have a legal leg upon which to stand.
tanker47
August 10, 2017

In reply to by pop25

I was also contacted by "Escape with Travels" and have received offer. I have not sent first page of contract, am wondering if any others have proceeded further along with this company and the outcome of their experiences.
lbrad79
August 17, 2017

In reply to by tanker47

I've also been contacted by Escape With Travels, and was advised of the same 8% commission fee. Their website seems pretty legit, but I don't trust that this offer is real.
Blaze132
August 21, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Same Here. I cannot find anything on the lawyer they are using except they did give the OH bar number she has. What you do think!
nav33d
August 30, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Hey There, don't waste your time any more!! We have been dealing w/ Escape with Travels & the law firm of Constance Smith. In our initial research, we thought they were all valid, they even used their proper BarCard#275320 & used the same logo of our timeshare co on the paperwork. Even when they asked to wire $3k+ to a Banc Santander a/c, we still believed them because they had somebody else pretending our timeshare co calling us confirming the amount to be paid [instead we should have called the timeshare directly & verified]. After wiring the money on last Friday, they told us yesterday that to sell in MX, we have to pay 20% tax, & they had IDFC bank from NY call us to confirm the amount of $10k+ for it. That's when it got to us... no way we would pay another $10k after wiring $3k. At that time, we called our TimeShare co directly & verified that all those papers they sent, names they used are ALL FAKE!! They never received any money. We went to the bank & started investigation, but the money is gone from the MX a/c already. We told the law firm that to refund or we'd report her to the CA State Bar of Ethics [we have a lawyer friend, who confirmed that the law firm is valid & her barcard is active..]. This is a VERY SOPHISTICATED SCAM!!!
MicMan50
November 06, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Do not, under any circumstance, deal with "Escape with Travels". They start out using Constance Smith, Atty firm and change when your sale is denied by Pueblo Bonito. Then promises are made that the denial of sale can be reversed by ProFeCo (a Mexican government agency). All lies. They changed to D Marie Sherman out of Casper, Wyoming and nothing she promised came to pass. DO NOT WIRE MONEY!
letsgo
September 06, 2017

In reply to by mere5

I too was contacted by Escape with Travel with a very convincing sales pitch and lots of money (way more than I initially paid). It sounded too good to be true. When I told the sales agent, Anthony Garcia, about my concern, he had Adam call me to resolve my concerns. Adam seemed to have all the answers to my questions and told me that I didn't actually sell the timeshare until I had received funds and then I would "endorse" the documents to be returned to an attorney, D. Marie Sherman, in WY. I was still hesitant and decided to call my timeshare owner. I was informed that this company, along with Decolar and 1st Realty who also contacted me were all fraudulent companies. I was given a phone number of a place where they have used to buy timeshares. I have made a call and left a message for that company to give me a call. Not sure I will go with them, but I am certainly not going with any of the other three I mentioned above. Hope this helps.
AngryDupe
November 02, 2017

In reply to by letsgo

You mentioned the names Anthony Garcia and an attorney named Adam!!! RED FLAG these are the same names that were given to me when I was duped out of thousands with International Realty Corp. and West United. Would not doubt that this is the same "ring" of scammer/thieves!! Wonder how many names they go by.
Michael A.
September 07, 2017

In reply to by mere5

This is a total scam. I am now working with the local authorities and the FBI. We lost over $30K. I went to their 'office' in Sacremento, surprise, NO OFFICE there (today, September 6, 2017). If you know anything about this please get in touch.
FTC Staff
September 07, 2017

In reply to by Michael A.

We removed your email from this post. We don't publish personal details in the blog. Please report scams to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint, so the information gets to law enforcement. Your reports to the FTC are added to a database that law enforcement agencies nationwide use for investigations.

timeshareresalescam
August 03, 2017
international realty corporation is a scam. please protect yourselves. google Mexican wire transfer scam, or Mexican bank scam and you will see the step by step process they use to SCAM you. don't get caught by this SCAM like some of us were. pass the word and file reports as mentioned here in FTC.
MadWoman
August 03, 2017
This is a scam. Totally sweet talk. I lost thousands. Dont listen to what they said or offer to you. International Realty Corporation and West United Services keep telling me its for Mexican Goverment. Mexican Goverment whom asking for money.
MN vacationers
August 07, 2017
So happy we found this site. Colorado Real Estate Dynamics seems to be the newest of these scamming companies. We're at the earliest stages of a "deal" with a letter of intent in hand, but strangely/stupidly 3 of their agents have called us separately in the past week raising flags. After reading the stories here, we'll go with the old adage "if it seems too good to be true, it is." So are there any legitimate services for selling a Mexican timeshare we no longer use?
Don't use your…
August 09, 2017

In reply to by MN vacationers

I was contacted by the same firm. I haven't sent or signed anything yet. Want to see paperwork first,looks like a hoax.
Guest
August 23, 2017

In reply to by Don't use your…

There is no question in my mind this company is fake. Buyer beware. I'm guessing they will soon request a wire transfer of funds. Even the domain name comes back hokey in a web search, and this company doesn't exist at the address listed in Golden Colorado.
Mtngirl04
October 10, 2017

In reply to by MN vacationers

MN vacationers: Who did you deal with as now I'm being harassed by the same company. Unfortunately I signed the sales & appraisal form, but when they sent over the escrow agreement I refused to sign as I was not going to wire them $4200.00, now they are threatening to sue me for the 6% commission.
Happy & Angry couple
August 08, 2017
We are happy because we did not loose our money. We were one click away from sending our money thru our bank when the bank's fraud department representative came on the speaker and told us not to send this money that It's a scam. We went home and read the comments on this web site and also on the Mexico bank and wire transfer scam websites. The companies we were dealing with are International Reality Corporation and West United Services. Both these companies are in Chicago. We are mad because we spent so much time and effort in this scam project. We were looking forward to get rid off our time share in Mexico. Please be aware of these companies.
TGfts
August 14, 2017
Has anyone heard of Signature Luxury Properties from Philadelphia and CR Holding Company from Detroit?
Gldy23
September 14, 2017

In reply to by TGfts

My parents were contacted by those companies and have offered a no upfront fee offer for their timeshare. They have been dealing with a guy by the name of Alexis Trujillo (which is registered as a licensed real estate agent) but I can't find any license info for the company
Jen
September 20, 2017

In reply to by TGfts

I have been dealing with them and I am trying to find out if they are real or not
Linda& Signature
September 29, 2017

In reply to by TGfts

I am wrapping up a contract with Signature. They have offered me 2x what I paid. The buyer pays all fees, except the 8% commission. I was told that I would not have to pay it until after the transaction is complete. I have also been contacted by the escrow company who assures me this is all legit. I am waiting for a call back today. Based on all I have read here, I will not send money until the deal is done. Or they can take it from escrow.
Prieto
November 08, 2017

In reply to by Linda& Signature

I'm currently dealing with signature luxury n crholding are they ligit?
i lost money t…
November 20, 2017

In reply to by Linda& Signature

they are very good at what they do. they have had 10 years to perfect it. blog sites go back to at least 2006 on the scams. International Realty covers all their bases for the scam and they are hard to detect. ITS A SCAM. run
Linda& Signature
September 29, 2017

In reply to by TGfts

Okay, I called my timeshare and asked them. They say Signature is a scam. Big fancy website, the whole bit, but she said they have gotten very good at this.
almost a sucker
August 17, 2017
We have just been contacted by Basic Real Estate Solutions from Chattanooga Tenn. with the exact pitch that has been described. they had our name and email address and knew we had a timeshare but not exactly where or what type. they have offered a great amount for it. 6% commission but don't have to pay upfront. They sent a Proposal letter. the guy asked me to quickly sign and send all my info back before the end of the day. Too good to be true. we will not be following thru by giving them any info. Please be careful of these scammers.
GSH
August 21, 2017
Does anyone have an update on the "Escape with Travels" company ? I received an offer along with request for first page of contract. Are they legit ?
travelsalot
August 23, 2017

In reply to by GSH

Not legit... they are a scam. The website is a shell and leads you to other online websites. Their phone number also leads you nowhere but to your scam artist's extension. I questioned Eddie Espinosa about all of this and he said he would call me back with answers. Now he won't return my calls. They offered me $54,054 for my $11K timeshare.
travelsalot
August 23, 2017

On July 26, 2017 I was cold called by Eddie Espinoza from Escape with travels escapewithtravels. com located in Mexico City to inquire about purchasing my timeshare from Pueblo Bonito Resport in Cabo San Lucas. I asked him how he got my phone number and he told me that they work with expedia. com to help customers with their travel needs. He asked me details of my timeshare contract and they sent me a quote to purchase my timeshare. The proposal letter requested my signature and offered $54,054 to purchase but it only cost me $11,000. I asked Eddie why and he said they will make the money back fast. He requsted I send in a copy of my contract and return my proposal with my signuate. He called me back to tell me I would have to send him a commission check for 8% of the purchase price. I sent in a copy of my contract. They now have my personal information. I did this before I realized the complany is a fraud and the website is not even functional to book anything. When I told Eddie I thought it may be a scam and that the website doesn't even work he told me he would look at it and get back to me. He never called back.

John K.
August 30, 2017
Worldwide Property Solutions Inc is a very sophisticated time share resale scam operation. They got me bad after nurturing a relationship over time. They even had references to speak to as "satisfied" customers. Clearly,those folks were in on the scam. If the deal is too good to be true, it is! Watch out for Phillip Henderson and Dominic Foster, two thieves.
FTC Staff
January 02, 2018

In reply to by John K.

You can report your experience to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database. Thank you.

Don't use your…
August 31, 2017
I recieved phone call an offer from Signiture Luxury Propertities. Does anyone have any info on this company?
Don't use your…
September 02, 2017
Anyone dealt with International Resources Group, LLC? Have gotten several calls trying to buy our property in Nuevo Vallarta.
Feeling pretty…
January 02, 2018

In reply to by Don't use your…

Yes, we too have been scammed for thousands of dollars! We checked out the agreement, the company, the BBB, the people, nothing came up until Donald Johnson's name was googled, and we only started dealing with him in mid August.

Watch out for Jennifer Shipman, Mark A. Lewis, William Reilly, Chris Peters from International Realty Corporation and West United Services.LLC: Dominic Hamilton, Brian Martez, Eric Torres, other names used were lawyers: Ricardo De La O Dominguez, Diana Cecilia Sanchez Ridriguez, Giovanni Romero Ramon. We paid for a Mexican RFC # for $4,750 (apparently needed, but way to much to pay!) Non family transfer fee of $3,825, Capital Gains tax of $18.760K and Legal and Recording fees of $4,285, and now Citibanamex wants Bond monies of over $27K! Run, because this does not end! We have contacted a criminal lawyer in Mexico city, but that too costs money to proceed. You are caught either way! Things looked official with stamped receipts from the SAT office, Citibanamex statements, official letter head, websites, they have gone to a lot of trouble to be so deceptive! This started May 16th with a telephone call and an e-mail, so they got our information from someone at the resort. BEAWARE!

VacayHunter
October 19, 2017

In reply to by Feeling pretty…

Christopher (aka Chris) Chin is another name to add to the list.
AngryDupe
January 02, 2018

In reply to by Feeling pretty…

Also add Kevin Bell at International Realty Corp.

At West United Services: Anthony Garcia Steven Meyers Brian Montez Dominic They got me for $18K also.

I filed with FTC, State Attorneys in Il & my state, FBI, Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulations for the business & the real estate board against Donald Johnson (he gave me a license number of 471013624) AND International Realty Corp. (business license number 478007380. I also submitted a review at the Better Business Bureau (BBB)in Chicago. I did a review because it could be posted on their site and be seen by everyone whereas a complaint is not. I just rechecked the BBB site in Chicago and info on International Realty Corp. is not there and there is a comment stating that their information is being updated. I am hopeful that the BBB may be checking this company out more. Will check back later and see if that is the case. I also filed a review on West United Services with the BBB and that is still up on their site.

Tom T
September 13, 2017

In reply to by Don't use your…

I have received the same calls from International Resources Group, LLC wanting me to sell my Timeshare in Cozumel. I haven't found any negative info so far. Does anyone have any information on them?
AngryDupe
November 02, 2017

In reply to by Don't use your…

Also see my story at July 22, 1017. Just like the others, we have been duped by International Realty Corp. and West United. Hope you didn't wire any money. If you did fall for it.....get out. Unfortunately the money is gone/gifted to the scammers.
JeffFB
September 04, 2017
I was contacted by a representative of a company named First American Estate Planning. They offered to quadruple my purchase price of my timeshare. Has anyone heard of this company?
sfleck
September 07, 2017
Any know about corporate time share network? Was talking with them today. Didn't go through with it yet. I'm supposed to book my extra week with RCI and pay the fee of 599$ then turn it to them to sell it at a premium. They claim they are interested mor ein the commission of a possible sale because RCI requires a 90 min. sit down for the extra week @ 599$. I only get 3 per year. They have a pretty clean web site and even have a blog on what to be careful of while dealing with companies who could possibly be scams! Looking for any feedback. Glitch is I have to give my credit card information of 599$ (so they can verify funds) They claim they do not run the card until I sign the contract which comes after they run the card and verify and. If we do not sign the contract our card is void.
Bks_ canada
September 08, 2017
We're chasing IRC as well, paperwork from Illinois. I would like to join with others on class action suit or equivalent... Or just as a group to push legal agencies for action.
reginalyan7
September 26, 2017

In reply to by Bks_ canada

I agree with you,Something must be done together to bring these scoundrels to justice.
TooSmart4Scammers
September 08, 2017
I was contacted last week on my cell by Thomas Murray Jr. of GOLD COAST REAL ESTATE INC. from New York, NY. wanting to "potentially" buy my UVC membership. Mind you, this is not a traditional timeshare so I was wondering A) how he got my info and B) why they would be interested. He did not seem to know much about the property (it is on Riviera Maya) or our contract amount (I did not know it off the top of my head). Frankly he did not seem to know much. I was leery from the beginning, but played along. I gave him an email address and asked him to email me information - mostly so I could use that to look them up. Well - another call today with GREAT NEWS (LOL): we have been approved to receive $17,700 for our membership. All we have to do is sign the offer that was emailed just today (not last week) and send proof of ownership back to them. Then they will put the money into escrow with GLOBAL ALPHA CAPITAL LLC, also of New York. Now both companies have active WEB sites, but that means nothing. The Gold Coast site has some curious grammatical/word choices which lead me to believe that it is only set up to give the appearance of reality. My favorite part of all of this is that there is a legitimate RE company in Hawaii with the same name, and on the bottom of one of the emails I received, THIS scammer put a notice that they are NOT affiliated with the company in Hawaii. I feel bad for the Hawaiian company! I will say that this is a very well thought out play, and whoever is doing this is most likely learning from past efforts. If I was not such a skeptic, so protective of my money, and hell bent on Internet research, I may have fallen for it. They have been pretty smooth so far, although they have not (YET) asked for any money up front. The only costs mentioned so far are a 7% sales commission to the guy who called, which will be taken from the escrow. Thankfully I am not gullible enough to accept an unsolicited offer to buy something that I don't wish to sell to someone I don't know.I would like to play along to see how far this goes, but won't because I don't have time. I sincerely hope that others have found this board and realize that one should ALWAYS ALWAYS perform severe due diligence for all financial transactions, no matter the amount. I am so thankful to everyone else who has shared their experiences here, and so terribly sorry for anyone who got duped. A hard lesson to learn, I am certain.
Almost scammed
October 16, 2017

In reply to by TooSmart4Scammers

I want to thank everybody for posting your information relative to Gold Coast Real Estates and Global Alpha Capital LLC. We too started the process with these groups with our timeshare in Mexico. Sharon Cullen from Gold Coast was the broker that contacted us. The escrow account is what made me take a closer look at the offer. I sent Sharon the link to the website for her response. But thanks to everybody taking the time to post the information so that I did not make the same mistake!
dupedtoo
October 18, 2017

In reply to by Almost scammed

I am still trying to get my money back. I am so glad people are reading these posts and not making the same mistake we made trusting Gold Coast .