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.
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.
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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In reply to Hi, by Bree Z
You can do an online search. Type the company name, or even the website, into a search engine together with the words “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” See what comes up. Always use more than one source of information. For more tips. Please see the FTC blog post, Might Your Search Yield a Scam?
In reply to Hi, by Bree Z
hi, we are going through some negotiations with LIS where they are having us go around the usual process for our transfer fees (not through the timeshare company, but into escrow in Guadalajara, MX).
Now the 'agent' in Guadalajara has informed us that we must now pay 25% tax on the sales amount to the escrow account before they can immediately reimburse us. We asked why that couldn't just be part of the escrow payout. Some statement about ensuring it wasn't a money laundering operation.
Has the sale you referenced terminated or been completed - how did it work out? Thanks, Jules
In reply to hi, by Jules J
In reply to Vacation Consulting Services by milk4016
In reply to Vacation Consulting Services, by Vicki
You can report this to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. You can also report to your state Attorney General, and to the Attorney General in the state where the business is based. You can find a list of Attorneys General at www.naag.org.
Received an offer from Despegar for my timeshare in Cabo $40K. No upfront money. Everything to go through a broker company called Real Estate Brokerage in Colorado. If this is a scam they are getting better at it. They say I don't pay ANY fees. Hmmmm, if it sounds too good to be true, etc..... Anyone gotten a call from Despegar I know they are a real company because they are online and are a travel reservation type company.
In reply to Received an offer from by caboowner
In reply to Does anyone know what happens by Joyce
You can talk to a lawyer about this. To find a lawyer you could use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association, or visit this site from the State Bar Associations.
In reply to Has anyone been contacted by by Scorpio55
This FTC article about timeshares and vacation plans has a list of things to check before you resell a timeshare. For example:
Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.
Ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify it with the state Real Estate Commission. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents, and ask for references from satisfied clients.
In reply to Anyone have experience with by too good to be true
Does anyone know TRAVEL MARKETING WORLD, LLC. working from a Princton NJ address and with Colonial Title in GA? They are asking for a $3,000 Mexican SAT tax to be paid by me (in advance by wire) prior to closing. This sounds fishy... I appreciate guidance
In reply to Does anyone know TRAVEL by Lisa W
Anyone heard of Corporate Connections International, Bank One Bldg, 1603 Orrington Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, web address: 1-847-960-3523??? They are also calling already knowing our timeshare info saying they have corporations that buy for tax write offs, also offering a higher price than we paid, but not asking for a fee yet??? I don't know how anyone can actually take the chance that any of these offers are real!!!
Universal Reality st. Louis ,Mo. Kyle Fernandez contacted my husband and made offer for our time shares. My husband wire transfered $$. Five different times!!!! To a tune of $72,000!! Needless to say we never got a cent from him. He also used Evans and Moritz Professional Closers Gary Garcia. These guys are cheats and frauds. THEY NEED TO BE REPORTED TO THE FBI!!! Nothing but sweet sounding Mexican guys. WE LOST OUR SAVINGS FROM 32 YRS. Of marriage. Do not give them a.cent.
In reply to Universal Reality st. Louis by Screw and bar …
You can help law enforcement by reporting what happened. You can:
In reply to I have been trying to sell or by gene4038
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.
In reply to Read the article about by FTC Staff
In reply to Bridget, if you have a "Right by Jenni
Please talk with a lawyer, real estate professional or other expert about that question.
In reply to Stay away from Jim Grant as by pissedoff
In reply to Has anyone heard of"FIRST by GASGON
Alliance Trading Associates is another Timeshare Resale scammer. They make all these promises and then they do the scam where they present a buyer who they claim is attending an event in the Dominican Republic and is interested in purchasing our timeshare.
The send over a contract with an Italian couple’s name in this case: Buyer(s): Address: Palma Areca Street #202 Punta Cana Village Palma Areca Street #202 Punta Cana Village City: Higuey State/Country: Dominican Rep. Zip/ Post Code: 23302
They then tell you that you have to send money to the Dominican Republic to a "lawyer" and “Notary” to handle the sales transaction (Omise Jean Louis & Mireya Joseph). Of course, the money has to be sent via Western Union and disappears from there. They even sent a Letter of Assurance that this is a legitimate transaction. The main Scammers are: Steven Cardwell, Sales Manager, Steven Hoffman, Sales Manager, and Jacob Moore, CEO of Alliance Trading Associates. The company’s website is alliancetradingassoc , office is supposedly located at 75 Marietta Street. alliancetradingassoc Atlanta, GA 30303. (770) 291-0702 or (770) 249-0635
They send a scan of an obviously forged and doctored check from Scotia Bank and claim you will have to sign for it. But only after you send them more money. They then never return your calls and disappear from there. He lyingly claimed to be dealing with Westgate Resorts and gave a phony contact at the Westgate Main Office: David Johnson; Officer in Charge, Westgate Central Office. 1450 Center Park Dr. West Palm Beach, Florida 33401 Office Gmail: centralofficeaffairs (561) 273-9890
When we contacted Westgate Resorts they said they never heard of David Johnson and there was no Central Office. The Federal Government should pursue criminal action against these scammers and frauds because not only do they misrepresent what they do but they are thieves who connivingly victimize innocent people.
In reply to Alliance Trading Associates by kaygee52
Please help law enforcement and 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 put here on the blog doesn't go into the law enforcement database.