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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.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

FTC Staff
October 13, 2017

In reply to by Regretful time…

Read about buying and selling a timeshare. It has important tips, including this:

If a company approaches you and offers to resell your timeshare:

  • Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if there are complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints. Type in the name of the business that called you and the word "complaint" or "review."
Scam watcher
November 06, 2017

In reply to by Regretful time…

I just received a call from worldwide travel events stating that they have a buyer for my mayan palace timeshare. They said he will offer me $45,000. I asked how they got my onfo and they stated it was given to them from a group in mexico that pulls records the the government. I was sent an offer but i had a feeling that it was a scam so i googled about the company with bbb and found this info.
HildaATL
December 20, 2017

In reply to by Scam watcher

This message is for Scam Watcher who was contacted by Worldwide Travel Events. Did you find out if that company was legitimate and the offer real? I have been contacted by the same company and an trying to find out if this is a scam or not.
WebChecker
February 01, 2018

In reply to by HildaATL

It seems they are a scam, they sent me a contract from a Fake title company. The vacation property confirmed that title company was fake and a scam
ernest
May 16, 2018

In reply to by WebChecker

HI there, was the little company called " Emerald title and Escrow llc" by chance?

AmMa
January 02, 2019

In reply to by ernest

What do you know about Emeraldtittleandescrowllc ? I am currently in a contract with them and have paid up front ,they promise to repay . Address is Montgomery AL and Clara Fergusen is the escrow officer.
Jhm
October 07, 2020

In reply to by AmMa

I hope that you have not sent any more money I have been scammed from a different company and now know that no money is to sell . For a legit one there is usually 5% closing to be taken once it sells . I still have not sold it and approached by many people saying they can sell it but want me to pay fees. I know better now the hard way
HJ
December 01, 2020

In reply to by Jhm

Hi I have a question... I was approached by a company and they did mention about a 5% closing fee at the end however they are asking for costs for resort fees etc that will be reimbursed. How does the 5% closing fee after payout make it out more legitimate acquisition. I feel like this is legit but I don't know now I'm skeptical after reading all these messages. Thank you in advance for your feedback.
Irishfan1964
October 28, 2020

In reply to by AmMa

Did it work out? I have a company that says they have a buyer for mine. The company is Sigma Logics. They are a general partnership so no filings with the secretary of state required so its hard to find info.
Lolodaddy
December 09, 2020

In reply to by Irishfan1964

Sigma Logics has recently contacted me regarding purchasing my timeshare. Has anyone worked or heard anything about this company?
yungknight
February 24, 2021

In reply to by Lolodaddy

I was just contacting by Sigma Logics around this same time too. The name the gentleman gave me was Johnathan Knight and he said that my timeshare is worth $38,000. After paying outrageous fees for more than 4 months, I'm still being asked to pay more fees right now. I did a Google Maps search of his business address and the location of his business Firm shows a parking garage surrounded by cars with an intersection and construction work--and that's it. It's to the point that I no longer trust this smooth-talking timeshare scammer.
Kathy
April 12, 2021

In reply to by yungknight

I'm in the middle of doing the same thing. Everything looks so official, but I agree it all looks fishy. Can we talk offline?
Nbrut
April 26, 2021

In reply to by Kathy

I am at the “last leg” with Jonathan Knight and Sigma logics. I have put a lot of money into this before reading any of these logs. Do I finish out the leg or call it quits? Has anyone received their buyout from Sigma?
tlu
May 14, 2018

In reply to by Regretful time…

Did anyone reply to you yet? They called me today and are made an offer of $41k....sounds way to good to be true!
Floyd
July 18, 2018

In reply to by Regretful time…

I got a call from the same group, Royal Travel Group. I tried to get information on them using the Atlanta Better Business Bureau. I can't find any information. I am not going to do business with them .
JoJo
December 23, 2016

In reply to by michael

I have had the exact same M O from Genesis Investment Properties Inc. and Sigma. They want a REFUNDABLE SRE permit fee of >$5000.00 sent through Sigma (David Silve) to BANAMEX bank in Mexico. Thank you Michael for the fraudulent "Heads up". Another-if it sounds to good, it isn't!!
Janina
January 22, 2017

In reply to by michael

I am dealing with them too, but when it came to the fees up front for Gov't, etc. I said my lawyer would be looking after that. They said no problem & rewrote the contract. So no money up front. How else can they get you?

Molly
February 10, 2017

In reply to by michael

i am unclear...did you pay the transfer fees mentioned in the 1st paragraph? did you finally receive your net proceeds? all in one lump sum or over time? any further issues?
tkelley
December 27, 2016

In reply to by Genesis Invest…

Genesis and Sigma are definitely a scam. I went all the way to the point where they asked me to wire transfer money to an individual in Mexico. They have VERY official looking documents and even sent me a (very poorly done) Mexican credential for the "attorney" who needed the wire. The agent from Genesis stole the identity of a reputable real estate agent in California. You should always be wary of ANY up-front requests for money. I talked to someone at the FTC and they said that any offer for a profitable sale on a timeshare should always be a red flag.
JoJo
January 08, 2017

In reply to by Genesis Invest…

I was contacted by phone on interest in selling "points" in Fiesta Americana Vacation Club, and they GENESIS INVESTMENT PROPERTIES INC.,confirmed to me my points.correctly. I agreed to email me a quote. This was promptly sent and offer was 3-4X what I paid. Next enters SIGMA INC. the ESCROW COMPANY David Silva was the contact. Then comes the "deal breaker", wanting me to wire over $5000.00 to BANAMEX in Mexico City. for the SRE, making it legal for a non Mexican to sell property in Mexico. I told them no way was I wiring money, that would have been reimbursed at closing, without proof. They then said the money from the buyer was in escrow already and no changes could be made. This went round and round, talking with probably 10 different people and all but one seemed very professional. They are a SCAM - DO NOT WIRE ANY MONEY. GENESIS INVESTMENT PROPERTIES I NC. and SIGMA (Escrow Services) just use reputable companies web sites with a slight name difference. And now, reading of these other scams, it is clear how they get more money from you once you start - buy more fees. My bank looked at the wiring instructions and said IT SMELLS OF A SCAM! As did everyone else I asked. I, by this write up, will contact the FTC to try to put a stop on these fake companies. Hopefully this information will save another person from loosing any money, and thank the others that saved me from any loses. These scammers have no passion for anyone, and are good at what they do. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. BEWARE!
bongo
January 13, 2017

In reply to by JoJo

Thanks to all who posted about Genesis and Sigma - I was very close to paying $4000 for whatever the the SRe is to sell my property in Mexico - but my timeshare goes by points and I don't own any property to sell - which was weird. Then they said I could go to the Mexican consulate or use my own laywer but if I went through Sigma then they would reimburse me the full $4000. I was hesitant and suspicious since the first call but that's when I put on the brakes. Be careful out there - there are some awful people that prey off of good honest people.
Retired granny
May 12, 2015

In reply to by blondie60

i got a call from Premium Internation Vacations, inc out of Texas - wanted to give me a lot of money for my timeshare - all i had to do was send $4000 to Mexico via wire - obviously a SCAM
Jayman372
June 10, 2015

In reply to by Retired granny

I have a guy from Premium International Vactions By the name of Michael Owens giving me an offer of 37,891.00 USD. No money upfront has been discussed yet, But I will post more as time goes on...I signed the GUARANTEED RESALE OFFER so let's see exactly what this scam is if any.
linda8421
November 16, 2015

In reply to by Jayman372

I was contacted by a different company but same type of situation. They sent me a contract but I have been checking various websites regarding validity. Contact me and let me know what transpired from your ordeal. Thank you.
MITAWARD
March 18, 2016

In reply to by Jayman372

I curious to know what happened. Did they follow through? Was it a scam?
herbivoro
June 06, 2016

In reply to by Jayman372

Hello, How was it? Cuold you share me your experience? because I have now the same offer. Thaks

MJ4717
June 09, 2016

In reply to by Jayman372

I would really like to know if you find out anything about this co. I am trying to find out if anyone know's anything about Resort Marketing Solutions out of Mexico. I have a time share that I got SCAMMED INTO in 2012 and I am trying to find someone that is honest to help me get rid of it.
Pilar
August 11, 2016

In reply to by Jayman372

We received something similar, can you tell me please what happened at the end?? We signed a contract with them
Kat21222
September 06, 2018

In reply to by Jayman372

I received an offer to sell my timeshare. It is called "Resale Letter of Intent", giving me an offer of $39,000 for the timeshare. There is no money upfront. The only money to be paid is a 6%commission to be subtracted from the proceeds. No other fees or anything. Looked them up and there is nothing derogatory on their website. BBB had no complaints against them. What should I think about this?
HorseLady
January 05, 2019

In reply to by Kat21222

Received same type of offer from AMG Inc for our Gand Bahia resorts timeshare so I am wondering how you made out with this? Did you sell and who was it that contacted you?
ALEIF
January 11, 2019

In reply to by Kat21222

This sounds identical to what I have received. What was the result in your case. Company in mine is ADS Realty LLC with and escrow co. Contract Escrow LLC.
Jayman372
June 10, 2015

In reply to by Retired granny

I just got off the phone with Mike Owens from Premium International Vacations, And as suspected they wanted 10% up front. I said to talk to someone there about getting any monies up front this way the Attorney General And Federal Trade Commission will not have to get involved, He said he would talk to me later...But insisted that this is the way it is done....Really Is that what everyone here thinks?
andrew17
June 15, 2015

In reply to by Jayman372

I just got a call from Michael Owens offerring $174,000 for my Nuevo Vallarta property timeshare, but no upfront fee. I would need to pay the timeshare developer/resort owner a transfer fee of 5 times my annual maintenance fee when it closes and a 7% commission when it closes.
arethabay
March 24, 2016

In reply to by andrew17

I just received a resale contract from American Travel Plaza. I need to pay 8% commission when it closes. Is this a scam?
PomMom
April 14, 2016

In reply to by arethabay

I got one too from this group. It prompted me to google the company and was led to this Blog.
liver
May 25, 2016

In reply to by arethabay

received a call from Financial Intelligence group same deal 8% commission for visitors /investors in Mexico for a huge expansion project, they are in California Does anyone have answers>
ConfuseD
May 27, 2016

In reply to by liver

Financial Intelligence Group for me too. Wanted to buy my membership for large expansion project. I haven't found anything expect this. Is this real?
suz
June 15, 2016

In reply to by ConfuseD

Anyone find out anything more about the Financial Intelligence Group? My friend has been promised almost $30,000 but they asked for one fee after another and now it's almost $14,000 in fees!! I'm very suspicious!
ABZ
July 22, 2016

In reply to by liver

FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE AND BLUE RIVER ARE SCAMMERS! Don't fall for this! It cost us $12K and we are working our bank to try to recoup the wire transfers! BIG SCAM! Also, for those who are scammed contact the FBI and your local ATTORNEY GENERAL both in your own state and Financial Intelligence is located! Let's catch these crooks taking advantage of hard working people!
HG70
May 25, 2016

In reply to by andrew17

I have been working with Property Management and Investment Group, Inc (PMIG) with similar offer: contract to be signed for over 200K put in escrow for Nueva Vallarta. have to pay 10 times maintenance fee or 17K out of pocket. This is the only up front but seems to good to be true. any others out there dealing with PMIG or the escrow company Stewartstitle
FTC Staff
May 27, 2016

In reply to by HG70

Read the article about timeshares and vacation plans for  information about selling a timeshare through a reseller.

To start, don’t agree to anything by phone or online until you check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if there are complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.

Also, ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. Then verify that with the state Real Estate Commission. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents. Get references from satisfied clients.

TX Reseller
May 26, 2016

In reply to by FTC Staff

Thanks Bridget for this information. I called the Corporation Section at the TX Secretary of State office to see if this company, S&M Investment Inc is registered. The company has been registered since 2007 and The Consumer Protection Office had no complaints about the company. I still am a little leary as it sounds too good to go to be true. They called stating they don't require any upfront money but prior to closing they will need $1,980.00 to do the owner verification and ensure there's no lien against the property. The money is supposed to be refunded at closing. This just seems kind of odd especially since it has to be wired. I am going to ask if the money can be sent certified with a cashiers check. They aren't listed on the BBB and I can't find anything on the web about dealings with the company. They do have a generic website. I will still pry around because I am not comfortable. One good thing is that I have friends in the area where the company is supposed to be located so I can have them do the transactions for me in person. Any suggestions at this point from anyone?
mexicaninfoleak
September 11, 2016

In reply to by TX Reseller

Find a local Escrow company that you can walk into their offices. Then insist that they use your escrow company to do the transaction. Watch how fast they disappear when you do this. Or how many excuses they have to use their "escrow" company. You are dealing with scammers. Walk away! FAST~
MayanPalaceowner
September 14, 2016

In reply to by HG70

This company has been pursuing me with a deal where they will wire $36,900 +$4690 to my bank account, or send certified cheque, but it's looking like they want me to pay the $4690 up front first for arrears in maintenance fees. A person from Stewarts Titles in Guadalajara contacted me with a website etc. I haven't gone forward on this.