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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.

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 .
GotScammed
January 29, 2018

In reply to by dupedtoo

I'm in deep with this company (they still trying with new buyer and asking more fees) and would like some help PLEASE! to get my money back. Thank you.
TooGood2BTrue
September 09, 2017
We were contacted by International Real Estate earlier in the year. I was concerned about giving them info that could be used to steal our identity so we stopped conversations with Intl Real Estate before they even asked for money (thanks to those who have posted here). Now we have been contacted by Gold Coast Real Estate. Very similar M.O. so I suspect it is the same group of scammers... Company name that is similar to some other company elsewhere, working with corporations that are in other countries, offering lots of money, etc. We asked for contact information for the buyer so we could check on the legitimacy and they told it would be on closing documents (seems a little late in the process to me for that). Woman's name is Gina Falco and she is licensed but I suspect she either stole the name or maybe really is licensed but doesn't mean she is legit. Things to note on their website (and the escrow company's website) that send up a flag for me ... dead links, lack of depth and content on the website overall, semi-finished webpages and featuring real estate they have sold but no link to details. Main big flag for me is there are people selling time shares for $1 on eBay so why are they offering me thousands of dollars for mine? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I think the timeshare industry is a contributor (indirectly of course) to all of this - locking people into life long contracts is ridiculous. Desperation to get out of the maintenance fees just feeds the scammers endlessly.
janetw
October 13, 2017

I recently recovered funds from a scam broker, Omega Options. They intentionally make you loose trades so you deposit more money. I had to hire a professional to get my money back. Lesson learnt, happy to share my experience.

Jorge Mendoza
September 12, 2017
I receive a cal from American International Investment Group in behalf of All American Real Estate LLC and we have conversations for over 1 month, they have all my info about my vacation plan in Royal-Hyatt, they said all the right things, but the ask for $1200 usd for an international investment tramit and that make the red flag, be aware, fraud fraud fraud
Scammers beware!
September 15, 2017
I have also been contacted by a Gina Falco of Gold Coast Real Estate to purchase by timeshare. I, like others who have posted messages on this site, am quite skeptical of them, and did contact my timeshare company, who did had not received any specific complaints about Gold Coast. I will see how far this goes, but will not forward any monies to anyone. It certainly does seem to good to be true...
Poseidon
September 19, 2017

In reply to by Scammers beware!

I also have received an offer from Gold coast real estate. I have judged started to research this. Please keep us updated. Thank you
Nutty anny
October 13, 2017

In reply to by Poseidon

I also received an email from gold coast & am just going 2 play along till they ask 4 money. Even then I will string them along. As it is definately a scam & they dont exist please dont send money as u will never see it again. There r many scams wen it comes 2 timeshare resale, please, please dont take the bait.
Scammed&Mad
September 21, 2017

In reply to by Scammers beware!

Go back and read the post from TooSmart4Scammers on September 8th. It fully details what took place in our situation. Call from Gold Coast Real Estate Inc in New York with an unnamed "buyer" and a fabulous offer to buy our vacation club membership in Cabo San Lucas. We took the bait, and accepted the offer. Then the "escrow" company Global Alpha Capital LLC entered the picture to set up an escrow account to "hold" the funds from the buyer using Citibanamex bank. Everything looked legit. Websites, letterhead, etc. I will spare you the gory details...but we are out $15K and they are still trying to contact us for more. Right now we are not responding to phone calls and filing a complaint with the State's Attorney General. DO NOT BITE! Learn from our mistake!
deltablue
September 27, 2017

In reply to by Scammed&Mad

We were contacted and told no money would be asked for. When and what for did they ask you for some money? We are playing along and wondering if we are being unwise to even talk to this Gold Coast Real Estate company. The guy we are talking to is named Thomas.
Scammed&Mad
October 01, 2017

In reply to by deltablue

The first money they will ask for is some fee to get an SRE Taxpayer ID. Don't bite (like we did).
dupedtoo
October 03, 2017

In reply to by Scammed&Mad

Thomas did the same to us. We are out $12k. I filed a report wth BBB, a police report, requested a reversal of the wires and filed with attorney general and FTC. I've is still calling me but I am not answering. They want more money for custom fees. I I spoke to the BBB representative the more compliants filed by consumers they will put these crooks out of business. I am not hopeful that I will get my money back but I will never stop!
jimori
November 06, 2017

In reply to by dupedtoo

The team from Gold Coast Real Estate, Inc. New York are really slick and good, as they appear to be using real names of real estate brokers as their cover. Everything was going well, with the signed Sales Agreement with over-the-top offer, a Citibanamax statement with the offer in cash, and no money upfront, until today! We just received the "...need to pay the SRE Fee of $3,7015" spiel. Will not send any money as some of done as we can't afford to lose the money!
dupetoo
November 17, 2017

In reply to by jimori

Glad you were not duped like I was... Do not fall for it. They are still calling me trying to get more money.
Fulltime traveler
October 04, 2017

In reply to by Scammed&Mad

Just want to say thank you for sharing your story and sorry for your experience. This Gold digger scammer called me 2 months ago, fortunately with my busy schedule I don't have to talk to them that much but when they got a hold of me they really try to place their bait right. Thanks God I didn't bite. They asked about $5K for somekind of escrow. But at the end I feel something not right with the hall stories. Anyway, just want to thank this forum and ppl share their experience.
Dee
September 26, 2017
Don't do business with Vacation Properties by Owner,LLC, Michael Scott, Sara Gravely, Robert Hall, Thomas White. Look them up on internet bilked thousands of people out of money.717-212-9129 or 717-212-9130 ,484-401-0264, 717-654-3251
Larry 59
September 27, 2017
Does anyone have any information on Evergreen Equity Investments in San Diego, California. Is this just another time share scam???
ThrowAway
October 02, 2017

In reply to by Larry 59

I just received a similar offer from Evergreen Equity for my timeshare in Cancun. Pretty sure this is a scam since the 'offer' is a fair amount larger than my initial purchase.