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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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JoeC
June 27, 2017
Update: I just added a comment, but it's not posted yet - just wanted to provide an update on what else I just found: apparently enough people became aware that the previously provided address for IRC was not a real one, so they updated their address on their website. Apparently they "moved" into the same building as a chiropractor, at 8424 Skokie Blvd. Skokie, IL. That's the same address as Skokie Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center.
AngryDupe
July 22, 2017

In reply to by JoeC

When I checked out the building on Bizapedia, there were 47 other businesses at that site, lots of medical offices. It is a big building.
Dana Allen (th…
June 27, 2017
I am Dana Allen a Realtor in Staunton IL and these scammers are using My name, my bio information and my Real Estate License number to scam people out of money. Don't send any money up front! These are not legitimate. I have been contacted by four people so far because they took the time to look me up on Facebook or online. If you are dealing with someone from Illinois and she uses the name Dana Allen-IT IS A SCAM! I don't sell or buy timeshares & I am the only Realtor with this name in Illinois. Don't send them money!
trackeye0313
July 31, 2017
We have been contacted by International Real Estate Solutions with the same premise (might be the same company as IRC). We contacted our resort and the customer service rep said they had just finished talking to someone who was scammed out of $3500 from the exact same company.
Bcmmh
June 30, 2017
Has anyone heard of a Grant Resorts out of Tucson, AZ. My husband is compnvinced they are legit, me not so much, we were told we had twelve days to consider an offer and now three days later they need to know right away. Gentlemen are Michael Tollins and Brandon Fowler.
Ceci and Raul
July 06, 2017
We have also been contacted by International Real Estate Solutions to purchase VIP weeks we own at time shares in Mexico for a very generous price. Too good to be true, leaving us guarded. We have reviewed a contract proposal as well as statements of escrow deposits sent by West United Services. We will be charged a 7% commission of the entire sale price to IRES but have not been asked yet to pay it up front. Everything appears quite legitimate as do the websites for both IRES and WUS. Comments made above give us doubts. Does anyone know for sure whether these folks are scams or not and/or who do we contact to verify the legitimacy of these businesses.
Parada
July 10, 2017

In reply to by Ceci and Raul

CeCi and Raul, I have the exact same scenario you mentioned in play as we speak. I have only signed a acceptance letter to move forward with discussions. One thing the did mentioned is that they are buying for Topsun International trading company LLC. They did mentioned that Westr United Services as the escrow holder and the location is in Juliet, Illinois. My representative is barry Quinn? Have you moved forward? If so do you mind sharing your outcome?
AngryDupe
July 22, 2017

In reply to by Ceci and Raul

Think International Real Estate Solutions, Inc. (IRES) was/is also operating under the name of International Realty Corporation (IRC). See my story under AngryDupe July 21, 2017. IRES filed to be listed in the Chicago BBB 5-16-17; IRC filed 5-25-17 It is a SCAM. Do not fall for it, they will bleed you dry!
lballen
July 06, 2017
Anyone been contacted my MIDWEST PROPERTIES INVESTMENT LLC 131 Park Ave Oklahoma City? Offering to buy Grand Mayan timeshare in Playa del Carmen area of Mexico? Claim no upfront money but say required transfer fees will be reimbursed. Sounds fishy as I received a call a week earlier from a Seattle co using the exact same words in their pitch.
David
July 24, 2017

In reply to by lballen

I have been contacted as well. Not sure what is up. I googled the address and its a condo building.
David
July 26, 2017

In reply to by lballen

I spoke with Howard Smith. He gave me his broker number but I'm not sure he is actually Howard Smith. The company address has no suite number. I googled the building and its a highrise condo. The company website looks like a template that could be made in minutes. He wants me to wire money and get reimbursed. Sounds like a scam. Beware!
David
July 26, 2017

In reply to by lballen

Howard Smith has a license with Oklahoma. When I looked up the reported address, it was a PO Box at UPS. Major red flag.
Androkos
December 04, 2017

In reply to by lballen

I got contacted by the same MIDWEST PROPERTIES INVESTMENT any news?
Jrosas
December 04, 2017

In reply to by lballen

I was recently contacted by them making an upfront offer for a timeshare. First got an email from a representative in Mexico City, when I tried the central office contact number got an email from a different company called Adviser Enterprise Proprerties LLC located at 101 W Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, USA literally saying Midwest Properties Investment LLC is the umbrella company for Adviser Enterprise Properties LLC. For legal purposes we must send you the offer under the name since the tax benefit is obtaining will be managed by them At this point I stopped any further communications
foolish
July 07, 2017
International Real Estate Solutions, Inc. Charlie Miller contacted me than Don Johnson took over for him. They are not legitimate. They are scammers and good scammers. Run and run as far aways as possible. They are very detailed and elaporate scammers.
MimiLinna
July 07, 2017
We fell for International Real Estate Solutions and West United Services. Sent 4200.00 for a Mexican Tax ID number 6/17
tanny
July 20, 2017

In reply to by MimiLinna

Both scammers, IRES and West United Services, they are on one roof!!!!
AngryDupe
August 02, 2017

In reply to by MimiLinna

Hope you are pursuing filing complaints everywhere you can think of. Your home state and Illinois attorney generals, the FTC, Better Business Bureau in Illinois, Real Estate Board, the fraud dept. of your local law enforcement, etc. Wondering if I can file with the FBI and local law enforcement in the Chicago area. I want to make it "HOT" for them. I want them to get my money's worth!
Allmostgotme
July 09, 2017
IRC and West united seem to be the same company pretending to be separate entities one to represent a buyer that doesn't exists and they want you to think they also represent you as a seller and they have already put a large sum of money under your name as soon as my attorney contacted them they got quiet and the paper work never arrived
vacation club member
July 10, 2017
I'm getting contacted from a Elite Marketing & Sales out of Chicago along with their title company 1st American Estate Planning in Arizona. I'm pretty sure it's a scam.
Indy
July 11, 2017
International Real Estate Solutions, Inc., Charles Miller, Senior Broker and Don Johnson, Managing Broker, are scammers. They are very elaborate in their scamming. They use Weat Unites Services in their elaborate plan as well. Run run run
MIE
July 12, 2017
Has anyone dealt with a company called Certified Management of Cincinnati Brokerage LLC? They contacted me about buying my time share. Thank u
summer
July 19, 2017
Has anyone ever heard of a Golden River Investment out of Phoenix Arizona ? Just really concerned. Thx.
ginger
November 13, 2017

In reply to by summer

Yes, I was contacted two days ago by Golden River Investments, Phoenix, Arizona by some who said their name was Ben Hernandez. I told him to prove to me he was not fraudulent. Havent heard back.
Alexa
January 17, 2018

In reply to by ginger

Hi I just got scammed by them.do you have a number..the number I have they don't answer anymore ...maybe with that number I can catch them..
Alexa
January 17, 2018

In reply to by summer

Hi i just got scammed ... please don't send them money ... Now I am 6500.00 in debt in my credit card. I didn't do my homework. May God bless
notmyrealname
July 21, 2017
I've been dealing with these guys as well...Andrew Fox and Don Johnson of International Real Estate Solutions, Inc. and Brian Montez of West United Services, LLC. I thought I had done due diligence in researching them, and was leary when I wired $3,183 USD for legal fees to have an SRE document prepared allowing us to do business in Mexico, and now they are asking for another $5,265 State Tax for Quintana Roo, payable prior to the completion of the sale. HUGH RED FLAG...who asks for tax to be payable prior to the transaction being completed?? I'll be reporting them to the IL fraud squad (or whomever handles this type of thing). I encourage all of you to do the same. Simply acknowledging them as scammers here isn't going to stop them.
AngryDupe
August 09, 2017

In reply to by notmyrealname

I started with calling the FTC fraud number on this site and contacting the attorney general for my state. Intend to pursue further with local law enforcement an AARP. Also filed a REVIEW with the Better Business Bureau in the Chicago area. Did a review so it can be seen on their website. If you do a complaint, the site says they will assist in trying to resolve, but the info. would not be visible on the site. I figure since I wasn't going to be able to recover my money anyway, I just wanted everyone who read it to see what kind scammers with who they were dealing. Looked up International Real Estate Solutions on the BBB.org website and there this notice. "MAIL RETURNED Mail sent to the business on 04/24/2017 was returned by the U.S. Postal Service as Undeliverable as Addressed." Got a real estate license number Donald M. Johnson 471013624; and business license for International Realty Corp. Business License ID number: 478007380 (I think International Real Estate Solutions, Inc. is the same thing---their paperwork seemed to use the names interchangeably). Didn't realize initially they were two different entities in the beginning. There is a website didn't seem to work, but when I called them they were able to provide info. ilesonline. idfpr. illinois. gov/ DFPR/ Lookup/ LicenseLookup. aspx/ LicenseLookup. aspx Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation 100 West Randolph, 9th Floor Chicago, IL 60601 AND 320 W. Washington, 3rd Floor Springfield, IL 62786 1-800-560-6420 TTY: 1-866-325-4949 International: 312-281-0341 When I looked up info. on the Illinois Secretary of State website, the names of the people and addresses are different. However, cities are similar. I am not letting this go! Lost a lot of money and am really ticked off. Best of luck in reporting them. I just want as many people to know of these scammers as possible.
FTC Staff
July 31, 2017

In reply to by notmyrealname

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

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

gotmetoo
July 25, 2017
I fell for this scam, too. Wired money for the SRE and I finally blocked their number and emails when they requested thousands more for Quintana Roo sales tax of 16% up front, to be reimbursed by the buyer, blah, blah, blah. I just received a call from someone who I assume is associated with them threatening legal action if I don't sign the cancellation paperwork, and if ignored, will affect future attempts at entering Mexico. How far with these creeps actually go with this thing? How can they be stopped? Who do we report this real estate fraud/scam to?
FTC Staff
July 26, 2017

In reply to by gotmetoo

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.

MeToo
July 27, 2017

In reply to by gotmetoo

I'm at the point where they have asked for the state tax. This also sent Red Flags and I started doing a little more digging and found this blog. Now what?
fvanacore
July 25, 2017
Are there any good companies that the FTC can recommend?
edwardsargent
July 26, 2017
Anyone heard of OLYMPIA INVESTORS, LLC, they are offering to rent unused weeks of my Mexico timeshare. After I receive the funds I pay the broker 9% fee. They are registered with the Secretary of State in the state of Washington in incorporated in New York.
lostmoneytoo
July 30, 2017
IRC is a very planned out SCAM and west united is working with them. They knew information that should only have been known by the resort that I have a timeshare. I am sure that someone is in on it at these resorts. BEAWARE, and don't send money for anything, we lost ours. it took two months of them calling and stringing along with just enough info to make you wonder if real. even though I google everything I could to find out. too late for us. but we need to file against them as they will continue and am sure they have their next victims lined up.. pass the word everywhere.
FTC Staff
July 31, 2017

In reply to by lostmoneytoo

These are useful details for a complaint. Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

 

You can also report to the state Attorney General

in your home state and the state where the business is operating.

 

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

Jim
July 31, 2017
Any one approached y Marketing Information & Strategy Consultants
jpaq
September 25, 2017

In reply to by Jim

Received a call wanting to know if wanted to sell our timeshare --- they had some details about it, i.e. when purchased, purchase price. I received a supposed offer today for way more than we paid for it. Too good to be true - and after reading info on this site, am sure it is a scam.
Todd
October 25, 2017

In reply to by Jim

Definitely a scam! I am filing a complaint with BBB and the state. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
kirk
January 16, 2018

In reply to by Todd

Was the inquiry about a domestic or foreign timeshare?
Lana
January 31, 2018

In reply to by Jim

Yes, we've been contacted. Do you have any further info? I can't find them doing an internet search. Please contact me at
tedblack196
August 03, 2017

Has anyone heard of the "company" Vacation Properties by Owner ? The got me for 681.00. Please let me know if you have heard of that company or know of someone that has been scammed by them. Thanks

FTC Staff
August 03, 2017

In reply to by tedblack196

You can report a scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can provide information about the company, what it promised, and what you got. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

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

scamgotus
August 01, 2017
Thank you to Angry Dupe for bringing this scam by International Realty corporation and West united services out. I know it is not a new scam but the companies used are and folks are getting caught up in it. we did and lost money. We will file all the reports mentioned and will continue to find ways to make sure the word says out there." THIS IS A SCAM". if we can just help one family not get duped by them. Please folks even if you did not send money to them, fill out the forms as they did want to scam you and they contacted you. the more information that will help against this.
Angry
August 31, 2017

In reply to by scamgotus

We fell for this scam as well. We paid over $10,000 before we realized it. Is there any legal action that can be taken?
AngryDupe
August 02, 2017
DO NOT wire money to anyone you do not PERSONALLY know. The info. from my bank is that once it out of your account it is GONE. The receiving institution has NO obligation to do a wire trace or respond to any such requests for trace or a recall of funds. It becomes a GIFT to the receiving beneficiary/scammer. Doubtful you will recover any of it. I fell for such a scam and it has cost me thousands. Feeling stupid now. Figure at this point all I can do is notify any and all law enforcement I can think of. I intend to give the scammers my money's worth. Read my story of woe dated July 22, 2017. Don't be me.
Links2
February 23, 2018

In reply to by AngryDupe

Has anyonme heard of Evergreen Equity Investments? Was called by them to buy a time share unit we have in Cabo. They are offering good money foe it and saying they have a buyer waiting. It all sounds very sketchy to me and I told them that on the phone. I like how quickly they talk when explaining "everything". I doubt they are legit but am wondering if anyone else has any experience with this "company".