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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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2,345 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.

Epatriciag
February 26, 2017
Been contacted by a Derec Vanderbilt from "International Brokerage" interested in purchasing my timeshare at a good but not ridiculous price. So far no one has asked for money, assured me there'd be no fees but I'm skeptical. A google search doesn't come up with anything though they're supposed to be sending me a link to their website and a contract to review. Anybody heard of them or had any experience with them?
mariejolie
March 08, 2017
Wow seems like a lot of you guys got really screwed and I'm very sorry to hear this.. I live in Puerto Vallarta, a girlfriend of mine her husband is now serving time in USA for doing this kind of scam.. Maybe the exchange company like RCI, II and others should send warming email to all their members??
Annie
March 07, 2017
Anyone know anything about a company called Oakwood Property Management out of seattle, along with Esrow One Inc out of seattle and the Resort Planning Group...each has as simple as it comes websites and if i google search and get onto street views not a single one of these locations is visible via an actual business location.
rusty
May 16, 2017

In reply to by Annie

I am dealing with these guys currently, did You end doing business with them?
Debbie
March 09, 2017
Has anyone dealt with Olympiainvest.com? They recently contacted me to rent several weeks of my Mayan Palace Time share. They so far have not asked for any money up front, however, I am feeling a little skeptical about the deal. They say they are going to pay my delinquent maintenance fees and also pay me $42000.00 for 10 weeks of useage. They say these weeks are coming from the "back end" of my contract. 5 regular weeks and 5 bonus weeks. Basically, 5 years of rentals from the end of my contract. The contract is life-time (99 years),so I am questioning why they want the years so far in the future. After reading comments above, I am guessing that I may be asked to pay money when the Title company contacts me. When they first called, I told them that I needed more information from Olympia Investors and that I was not willing to continue with the Title company until I hear back from Olympia. Does this sound like a scam to anyone else?
TH
April 26, 2017

In reply to by Debbie

I've had contact from same company with same approach. What happened on your deal.
not gonna be a…
March 09, 2017
Has anyone been contacted by Enrique Sanchez or Lic. Sanchez Hernandez at the SEACSC? They claim to be investigators or prosecutors working with PROFECO to help take these scammers to court. They have access to all my information and claim they can get me 60-80% of my money back from the UVC contract because UVC sold all my personal information. I think I smell another rat! Has anyone else had issues this these guys? I'm doing my research, but would love to hear your experiences.
Can't believe …
March 24, 2017
We were scammed by Corporate Timeshare Network in November. The Sales Rep was Nicole Goodrich. We paid $1899.00 for the rental of our weeks to corporations. Corporate Timeshare Network, LLC 7600 Southland Blvd. Unit 101, Orlando, FL 32809 Phone 866-669-1110 corporatetimesharenetwork.
FTC Staff
March 24, 2017

In reply to by Can't believe …

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes 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.

Paulettedd
January 19, 2018

In reply to by Can't believe …

I received a call from CTN this last week. I am researching to see if they are legitimate. What has been your experience with them?
Cheryl
April 01, 2017
Has anyone been approached by Paramount Commerce? They called me to go to a marketing discussion today. I am very suspicious because there have been so many scam calls. Does anyone know an honest company?
Blonde not stupid
April 02, 2017
Winterfield Funding. I have received letters from these creepers. The # on my letters is 888-323-9217. I, also, have a reference #. Same fictitious address as another 888 # on a scammer alert site. I own timeshares. So many people get scammed by these moralless vultures. The only way to receive money for your timeshare is to sell it yourself and transfer title via a lawyer. Most legitimate companies will charge thousands of dollars to reach a settlement with your resort to release you from future responsibility. Most resorts sell points now. Fixed weeks are much easier to sell, especially if they are in a red week. I stalk the sales office and talk to potential buyers. When I am ready to sell, I know my pitch. When I do not use my resorts, I rent or trade them. People need to do their homework before any substantial purchase. I am a 20 yr owner. If anyone is in the market to buy, record all conversations!! If only I knew then what I know now. Have foresight, not hindsight.
FAE4
April 06, 2017
CERTIFIED TRAVEL CONSULTANTS out of "Las Vegas" or "Atlanta Georgia" (they told people both) ARE A SCAM... they charge a fee upfront and say they will give you a 90 day guarantee ... but in small print it says, they will relist it for another 90 days if it doesnt sell in the first 90 ... NO 90 DAY REFUND POLICY IN WRITING, unless you get it in writing... as we did..... BUT THAT DOES US NO GOOD, as they dont follow up on it, or return calls, nor has anyone reported that they actually "sold" theirs that i know of to date.
Two Grandmas
April 06, 2017
I, too, received a call from a company named Brokerage America, that seemed too good to be true. I was offered $35,000.00 US for Mayan Palace in Nuveau Vallarta, Mexico. No money was asked up front, and I questioned Anthony Cruz, the caller, about this, saying I was not interested in pursuing this if there was. He assured me that the money I would have to pay would happen after I had received the money mentioned above. Then I am to sign a contract, but one of the paragraphs said that I would be reimbursed for the money I had to pay up front for the transfer fees. Whoa!! So,Anthony puts me in touch with his supervisor(?), Richard Brown, who has been with the company for 12 years. and guarantees that this money will come back to me. I said No and that is where we are at this point. The company seems legit, with music when waiting on hold, a receptionist who answers the phone, etc. But I don't know how to confirm if they are or not, so I have to assume they are not. I would really like to sell this thing. We bought it under false pretenses from Mayan Palace on the Riveria. They are scam artists, also, as far as I am concerned. We have never, ever, used it and don't intend to. They said they would rent it for us and we would get the money from these three weeks. Never happened. Has anyone heard of Brokerage America in New York City? Or Counties Escrow in Cleveland Ohio? Who knows, maybe they are for real, but I am not willing to risk $4000.00 CDN.
LT
May 23, 2017

In reply to by Two Grandmas

I was approached and offered 37K for 10 rental weeks of my contract at Fiesta Marina in Cabo and also unsure they are legit. They are asking for a 5% fee too. here is a bit of info: Has anyone been approached: I have a Genesis contract (15yrs) and received a call from All American Real Estate, LLC wanting to buy 10 weeks off the backend of my contract for a high price. I then received a Contract from American International Investment Group in Oregon signed by them with a buyer (lessee). I sent questions I had via email to All American Real Estate, LLC in Oregon and received a v-mail from them stating they prefer to tell me on the phone vs. emailing me which sent up a red flag... maybe they don't want a paper trail. Also once you sign a legal binding contract you could be in for paying more money than you already are for your current contract.
pgupta011
April 19, 2017
I got a call from someone from company "Timeshare by Owner". The guy said that they could resell our weeks for a good amount of money. The catch was that we had to shell out upfront $999 "documentation fee". Number is 888-669-9781. I declined, but they probably find enough people falling for this.
Nancy P.
April 29, 2017
Be careful for Altavista realty in Chicago. They have a website, phone number you can reach and email. They tell you they have buyers. They offer huge amounts of money...but a small detail, you have to pay an amount for the paper work etc... Stay away from these guys. Do not send any money it is a scam
kaikai
May 22, 2017

In reply to by Nancy P.

Nancy: i am involved in a transaction with Alta Vista Realty and they have collected a $995 fee from me but know they say i need to pay the tax on the sale in order for it to go thru. How far did you get with them in order to know you were being taken?
AZJewel
June 10, 2017

In reply to by kaikai

SCAM...if anyway you can stop payment do so. Run, don't walk, away from this "deal." Never pay upfront fee. Always say, "you'll get paid when I get paid." Do not under any circumstances give them your checking acct or charge card info. If you already have, check your statements daily to be sure no additional charges or withdrawals have been made. May even want to "close" said acts.
Jess
April 30, 2017
We went to a timeshare "talk" in Cancun where they kept serving us drink after drink and lowering the price and we stupidly bought 2 weeks in Cancut in a presidential suite on a gorgeous beach, the maintainance fees are $2200/year! Almost caused a divorce. We just bought in Jan 2017 and this month (April) a woman from "International Realty Corporation" out of Chicago has a client who wants to buy my 2 weeks for $33,000 more than I paid. Very excited at first but now worried. I suppose if we said we will use our own title co we would never hear from them again? And we would NEVER send money. She said the buyer would pay all fees and penalties. Can't find them on a BBB search.
jazzy
May 02, 2017

In reply to by Jess

I am dealing with the same thing with International Real Estate Solutions Inc. Also in Chicago. I was skeptical so I read these stories. I've done my research and i cannot find any info on this business on the internet. The address seems to exist but it's a suite # in a tall office building. There's no BBB info either. Do your research. Be smart. Think- is it too good to be true...?
brandim1
May 10, 2017

In reply to by jazzy

I was approached by the same company last Friday. Can't determine if they are legit. He claims the family run business is at odds and one brother is trying to buy out the others by having more controlling interest. Would your time share happen to. E with sunset group?
trackeye0313
June 01, 2017

In reply to by brandim1

We have also been approached and own with Sunset group. We are skeptical as well and will be sure to read the fine print and take into account other tips mentioned. Will update after our next encounter with them if it goes any further.
Monty
May 15, 2017

In reply to by jazzy

They have a tiny little brick office, you can find it in Google Maps Street View at 1447 W 18th St, Chicago, Illinois.
Swissmiss
June 05, 2017

In reply to by jazzy

I also was contacted by International Real Estate Solutions. The payment model explained to me is that a client of theirs would pay me for the unit and then I would "release" (pay) the commission to them. After reading this string of comments, I had a friend go to their office in Chicago and check it out. The address on my paperwork 100 N LaSalle, Suite 1300, Chicago. Well, there is NO 13th FLOOR nor suite 1300 in the building. The building management has now been alerted and is investigating as well. RUN FAST, RUN FAR from any "offer" from IRES!! They way this version of the scam works is that you would be presented with a cashiers check. In return you would then make a legitimate commission payment to them - either a cashiers check or a wire transfer - all before your bank realizes the initial cashiers check is fake. If you supplied a cashiers check yourself, the money is gone. If you did a transfer, then they get access to some of your banking information. Hope this is helpful!
FTC Staff
June 05, 2017

In reply to by Swissmiss

This information would be very useful to law enforcement.

Please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. When you report it, the details go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

VILLA DEL
June 06, 2017

In reply to by jazzy

Hi Group Involved with International Real Estate Solutions. I strung them along, had numerous conversations, dug into them, their professional licenses etc. Didn't find anything so signed a commitment to sell. Just got official documents from West United Services LLC as Title agency. Also in the Chicago area. Also have a professional Ill license. If it's a scam it is VERY sophisticated and long running. I plan to string the title company along and see if they hold water.

AZ jew
June 07, 2017

In reply to by VILLA DEL

Go no further in your dealings with this company. We have strung them along for 2 months. They kept offering more money! Bottom line is this advice from our attorney "I did a little bit of digging and found the information below. I would stay away from this group. Sounds like they will ask you for money at the end of the process (e.g., at closing "unexpectedly the mexican govt wanted money for the mexican federal resale tax permit. 4200.00!”)
Gabby
July 26, 2020

In reply to by VILLA DEL

So did you ever end up selling or losing money? I have been doing the same with Bull & Bear Properties Gabby
Jamie
August 10, 2021

In reply to by Jess

We have been approached by this company offering us $90k for our timeshare. Did you end up doing business with them? What was your experience? Thank you!
Buzzards Bay
May 11, 2017
American Travel Plaza Inc wants to rent my timeshare to their clients for 10 weeks, which they claim they will back out of our contract. 10 weeks equals 5 years. They claim as renters we pay nothing, they take 8% and the renters pay the maintenance fees $1099/week. Total for the 10 weeks is $39,000. Is American Travel Plaza out of Alpharetta , GA a scam? If so how do they get their money if their clients are paying for everything. I guess they may ask for certain fees after a contract is signed? Can someone enlighten me as to how they will scam me?..
AZJewel
June 07, 2017

In reply to by Buzzards Bay

They will scam you this way: you will have to pay the maintenance fee (they will claim to be "collecting it for your timeshare group" for the weeks they are "renting"... after that you will hear nothing from them! Ask your timeshare property about this...no doubt they will warn you that a third party does not rent your timeshare from anyone but you !

rmerrill75
May 12, 2017
playing the game with Irealty now (International real estate) just told them what I have to verify I had given them a correct amount of weeks. My offer based on what I said was not that outlandish.. but waiting to see if they want money up front. Had a scammer try a few years ago, got to the point where asked for money to close - will let you all know RM
prg
May 12, 2017
Has anyone heard of or dealt with Worldwide Property Solutions, Inc.? They are located at 1001 Brickell Bay Dr., Ste 131, Miami FL 33131?
Brian O.
May 24, 2017
The latest startup is "International Realty Corporation that started in April 2017. internationalrealtycorporation .com. I contacted the property manager for the address they listed and confirmed that the suite number doesn't exist at their address and that this company doesn't exist either. They are also using an Escrow agency West United Services that also has an address that doesn't exist and there is no building there either. westunitedservices. com They are contacting owners and saying that the original owners are buying back the units. We got a letter of intent for around double what we paid for it. We have played along a bit to see what they'd do next. I am reporting the company to the BBB and Chicago city scam department.
FTC Staff
May 24, 2017

In reply to by Brian O.

These are details would be really useful in a complaint to the FTC. Please report this at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

JRogers
May 26, 2017

In reply to by Brian O.

We've also been contacted by International Realty Corporation,Inc. Located in Chicago, Il. I found on the BBB that they have been in business for 25 years. Their website looks pretty nice and legitimate. So far, we've had (2)conference calls with the IRC contact. Their offer is to buy our timeshare in Mexico for a "to good to be true" amount. He has done nothing to quell our fears/ questions about him and his company. We have been trying to determine the legitimacy of the offer and the company. They sent us the documents to open an Escrow account with West United Services, LLC. I can not locate this company in Joliet, Il under a title company or an escrow company. I was only able to locate any information in Goggle search by typing in their website exactly as a web address, nothing comes up when searching the company name. This article came up as warning about West United. I'm so glad we went with our gut. No money or information was exchanged. We will be cutting ties on this offer
Poppyqueen
May 28, 2017

In reply to by Brian O.

I was contacted by the same company. They didn't offer an outlandish amount for our 2 weeks in Ixtapa. We quit paying our maintenance fees 4 years ago because they have tripled and we keep getting hit with special assessments. We basically walked away with no repercussions yet... Then out of the blue, an offer from this company. It seemed too good to be true. The "buyer" didn't care about the missed payments or that our timeshare is due to expire in 2 years. Supposedly he owns 20% of Pacifica, the resort and is not allowed to purchase any more himself. The story goes that he is buying up memberships privately that he can then convert to full ownership and gain majority interest in the resort, allowing him to offer them up as rentals on his own... It sounded logical, but I was still skeptical. IRC has since upped their offer after I confirmed what type of unit we had. How they got our info in the first place is a mystery. He told me all realtors can get lists of "owners" with phone numbers and state of residence, then they just track them down. Again, it made sense... In the mean time I have had no luck tracking them down. Just the address of 300 s. Wacker, suite 4200, Chicago,il. I checked the Illinois govt license site and they are not listed.. We are leaving on vacation in 2 days for 6 weeks in France. They are putting pressure on for us to sign the letter of intent and send a copy of our contract before we leave. I'm not going to do it.... All of this started last week... I'll be curious if this does indeed turn out to be a scam. Thanks for posting about them... I would have never sent a dime. It hadn't gotten to that point yet, but now I know it's a waste of my time.
Brian O.
May 31, 2017

In reply to by Brian O.

I received a nasty call from West United Services yesterday and was screamed at for nasty notes on the internet. They made a number of threats and I attempted to discuss the that their address doesn't exist and they slammed down the phone. I guess we aren't getting double what we put in any more. ;)
KM
May 26, 2017
I too have been contacted by this company. They have a website and are registered with the Department of Financial & Professional Regulations but if you pull them up the address does not match what they have presently given. I am very suspicious of them. Keep me posted if you get any good results.
Poppyqueen
May 28, 2017

In reply to by KM

I've been approached by them as well. Last week. I could not find them listed in the dept of Financial & professional regulations at all.
Poppyqueen
May 28, 2017
I've had an offer through International realty Corp. 300 s wacker rd., Chicago,il They say we don't have to pay any money up front. Has anyone dealt with them.
HTR
May 29, 2017
Yeah IRC made a mistake by calling me on a Memorial day. No reputable company does business on a holiday.
cbrown81
May 31, 2017
I just got off the phone with International Real Estate Solutions (for the 3rd time), and they did a pretty good job of trying to convince me that they are legit. My problems are: 1) They are offering us 3 x's our original purchase price for Temptations Cancun. Major red flag. Why wouldn't they save the money, send someone down to Mexico, buy it themselves, and reimburse them? I now they say they cannot sell to corporations, which is why they have to buy from private buyers like us, but their employees could save them a lot of money doing it that way. Why buy at 3 X's the price?? 2) The only information I can find on them (even on Google!!!) is from their website. It's a nice website, but it doesn't show anything to do with timeshares at all. Also, the website date (at the very bottom of the page) shows that it was created in 2017, even though the woman who contacted me said they have been in business since 2008. If that's true, how is there no record of their existence on Google??? 3) The representative said the owner, Donald M Johnson, would be happy to talk with me..... but he is so busy it could take up to 1 month to get a hold of him. After Googling his name and International Real Estate Solutions together, again, nothing came up! If they've been in business since 2008, something would come up! 4) The "escrow" company they will be using with called "West United Services" out of Joliet, Illinois. Again, there is no record of them either. When I asked the representative for more information on their business so my lawyer could do the due diligence on their company, she simply referred me back to her website to "read the customer reviews". She assured me that I wouldn't find any negative reviews. Really??!! Of course I wouldn't!! Lastly, the only time I heard her typing on her computer was when I told her that her offer seemed too good to be true. That they are offering 3 X's the amount paid. Maybe my suspicions got the better of me, but I assumed she was making a note to be more careful. Just speculation. Anyway, be careful and do NOT give these people any personal information!!!
kas0604
May 31, 2017
I am talking to a Jessica Bowerman who offered almost 3x what our timeshare at sunset was worth too. I also look hard for any negative information and found exactly what you found. That there was no information out there on this company. They have LinkIn and Facebook but no company information or post. No social media at all. I was debating whether to go the next step with them and I am glad I found this post. Looks like they just created this company out of thin air.
Wont Be Fooled
May 31, 2017
I too have been contacted by International Real Estate Solutions Inc of Chicago by phone regarding a timeshare in Mexico. Their offer is also more than we paid. Haven't taken it any further than that and won't after reading these recent posts either. The address on my offer was 100 North LaSalle Street Suite 1300, Chicago IL. 60602
Always Be Skeptical
June 05, 2017

I've also been contacted by International Realty Corp. Inc. concerning a time share with Sunset in Cancun, Mexico. I am glad I found this website. I don't give out my cell phone number to any companies, so I don't know how they managed to contact me via my cell phone. They recently sent me an email but I didn't get it at first since it was placed in my scam folder. I was curious to see how much they would offer us. Now, I'm just glad I didn't pursue this any further.

JOE-V
June 02, 2017
ANY INFORMATION RE ST JOHANN ALPENLAND RESORT CORP??? A TIME SHARE CO.....TRYING TO SELL. ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED. CAN'T TELL THE GOOD GUYS FROM THE BAD GUYS ON GOOGLE. THANX!! JOE-V.
Peter D
June 05, 2017
Thanks for all your posts. I filed a complaint with the FTC tonight which is listed below. I was contacted by International Realty Corporation, Inc and an offer was made to purchse my timeshare (Pacifica Resort in Ixtapa Mexico). The offer was more than expected and I was sent a letter of intent which I signed. Afterwards I receive a form from West United Services LLC to set up an escrow account. The form required personal information that I wasn't willing to provide. I researched both companies, along with Christopher Porter and couldn't locate much of anything.I found some information on the Consumer Information of your website - consumer.ftc.gov/blog/be-lookout-timeshare-resale-phonies?page=55 where many others were complaining about these same companies. I don't know if an official complaint was reported yet - thus my complaint. I'll keep my emails and documents should you require this information. Christoper Porter is the only International Realty Corporation representative I've spoken with and he calls me from 866-879-1025. Please let me know if you need anything additional from me.