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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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d clark
December 04, 2017
Stay away from International Sales Group LLC, NY, they scammed me for $4300
Darcy
December 07, 2017

In reply to by d clark

They have called me 4 times over last 3 months, and emailed me an offer to purchase my Mexico timeshare for $56760. I paid roughly $46000 5 years ago for a 25 year contract. I smell a rat, and was going to call my resort sales office to check if they heard of them, then a lawyer next if it seams legit.......but I am scepticle.
timeshare owne…
December 13, 2017

In reply to by Darcy

Hi Darcy, Thanks so much for the warning! This same company has contacted me multiple times and offered me a similar price for my mexican property. I was suspicious ie. too good to be true. They haven't asked me for money.....yet! At what point did they do that? I am so sorry you had this experience. If it hadn't been for you going to the trouble to post this I might have been suckered in too.
jpaul444
December 28, 2017

In reply to by Darcy

Over the past 3 months I've received continuing calls and documents from Henry Cohen and his associates + supervisors at ISGNY (17 State St Ste 400, New York, NY 33330, noting that this advertised Zip Code on all of their letterhead is actually for Broward County FL) and their escrow company Emerald Properties Group Inc (Lake View, NY). Neither address checks as valid from talking with building management at the State St NYC address for ISGNY and the Lake View NY Police Dept for Emerald Properties. The State of NY shows a valid license for Emerald, but there is no independent phone number to call for verification so assuming the stole a valid brokers license information. Both companies have websites that I'm assuming are part of the scam. They also set up a CitiBanaMex account that shows funding deposited for the full amount of my transaction. After providing copies of all documents to the FBI's White Collar Crimes Unit, I'm continuing to go along with this "deal" up to the point that they ask for money, also forwarding all new information to the FBI. If they actually wire the promised sale money to me (from which I'm to return them a 9% Commission within 5 business days... probably where their scam will kick in), my bank will set up a special inbound wire account to capture the full amount and hold the sale money as untouchable electronically, requiring a personal in-person withdrawal only by me. There is apparently a waiting period after international transfers to assure the funding source and actual transfers are both legit, so we will have to wait through that period.
Bri 52
December 07, 2017
I received an offer from Rock River Partners Firm, located in Des Moine Iowa. Essentially it says they have a buyer, don't want any upfront money, but will charge 8% at time of closing. They want me to sign the letter as an approved intent to sell. Anyone heard of them?
Crisco
December 09, 2017

In reply to by Bri 52

Hi Brit 52. I too have received an offer from rock river part bets that seems too good to be true. I have proceeded with cautious optimism as they have asked for no money....yet. the only money I should have to pay is the transfer fee from my Resort which was in the original contract when I purchased the membership. they are drawing up the contract now so I will be going through that very carefully. I will let you know how it proceeds for me.
M&M
December 11, 2017

In reply to by Crisco

Been contacted twice by Rock River Partners Firm. Dec 6th and 11th. Close to the comments by the two previous gentlemen. They must be making a run for sales at the end of the year....? Not sure if scam yet but leery. A company called Deep Sky Property Specialists tried to scam me before as well. I have asked for ALL contract documents up front to review first....they hide clauses in them to snag thousands on breech of contract when you try to cancel the scam before the expiration date etc........ More to follow....
M&M
December 11, 2017

In reply to by Crisco

Sorry forgot to add.... It seems that these calls come when the 5 year maintenance fee is due. I wonder if they are in cahoots with the resort to make sure you pay for something they pocket and do not put back in to updating the unit.......just a thought.
cgeurt
December 12, 2017

In reply to by Bri 52

I've had a call as well. I received the same information that the property wants 10% transfer fee because it was in the contract. Most recently, today as a matter of fact, they called saying the Mexican Authority wants 30% income tax now. Income tax for money I have yet to receive and I live in Canada so will need to pay income tax if I do receive the money. Looking dodgey from my end now.
fuzzy
December 19, 2017

In reply to by cgeurt

Contact made by a person claiming to be Amy Walters (IA Real Estate licensee)and another person claiming to be John Wick (IA Real Estate Licensee) representing themselves as Rock River Partners employees. A check of the BBB reveals the RR address to be "a false address and mail sent to the address has been returned as undeliverable." I plan to call the IA Dept of Real Estate today to find out more, now that I have received a contract for signature. I also have received a Trust Notification from Vinter Trust & Assets out of CO. I am unable to find any license information for this company and plan to call the CO Dept of Regulatory Agencies to check them out. I advise to proceed with extreme caution ... with all the state requirements, not being able to find out information about these folks is not right.
fuzzy
December 23, 2017

In reply to by fuzzy

Made contact with the Iowa Attorney Generals Office. Confirmed Red River Partners Firm is a scam. Do not do business with them.
wapati
December 28, 2017

In reply to by fuzzy

Any updated info? I was also contacted by John Wick (Keanu Reeves??) with Rock River and Vinter Trust. Any info would be greatly appreciated
SoCalSurf
December 31, 2017

In reply to by wapati

Rock River is 100% a scam. The only business in that building is Catholic Charities. They sometime "borrow" the names of actual real estate agents to make it seem like they are legit..RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN...
Greg
December 07, 2017
Anyone had any dealings with International Sales Group NY LLC out of NewYork? A broker agent named Steven Holtz has sent us a Buyers Purchase Offer on behalf of a "client" who is willing to pay us 7 times what we paid for a 3-week per year membership at the Grande Luxxe in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. We have received dozens of similar unsolicited calls over the past several years, but this one seems the most extreme! What's in it for them? We're not buying in to it, but would be interested in hearing the experiences of anyone who has dealt with them.
kpen859
December 10, 2017
are they a scam
ravenmsg
December 10, 2017
Anyone receive an offer from Silver City Properties? A broker named Richard Davis contacted (1-866-380-6297 Ext. 670) me back in November stating he had a buyer who was willing to pay me $18,400 for my timeshare at Villa del Palmar. He claimed my timeshare was appraised at $25,000, over three times the amount I paid for. He stated that there was no fees upfront and that the buyer would be paying for the title transfer and the escrow fees. All I would have to pay is 6% brokerage fee. I was then contacted by Benjamin Carmona who claimed he worked for American Finance SLP, LLC, a title/escrow company. He sent me a Citibanamex form to fill out. I finally did some research this weekend and discovered that Silver City Properties listed address on their website (347 E. Main St. Suite 301, Rochester NY 14604) does not exist. If you put the address in Google and go to street view it shows a building with a door. However, if you check Monroe County property records the address does not exist and the building Google street view is showing is an apartment complex. Also, during the week the number Richard Davis was contacting me on all of a sudden changed. When I asked he stated the business changed their number. I asked why would a business change their number all of a sudden in which he could not give me a straight answer. I know this is a scam and I am just glad that I did not wire any money or give them any bank accounts. In the future I would suggest to everyone to check the property records on the address that is listed on the company's website and broker's email. State property records do not lie. Also check when the domain address was created. I checked and the domain was created in 08/2017; however, the website claims that Silver City has been in business for over 20 years. As you can see timeshare scams are evolving and no longer ask for money up front like they did five years ago.
SUMMERFISH
December 13, 2017

In reply to by ravenmsg

I have also been contacted by silver city properties and have been for a couple weeks, so of course investigated as well. I had noticed that the number on the caller ID was different as well and when I questioned it, they stated they are a large company and have more than one phone number. I called both numbers and they are both operacional, so that doesn't raise any red flags for me.After reading your post, I took your advice and checked the location records and I am a bit confused. I do see that the building has apartments, but I also see that it being used for other purposes as well. Any thoughts. # - Use Code Size / # Units # - Use Code Size / # Units 1 - Non-contrib 29,904 Sqft / NA 4 - Walk-up off 13,379 Sqft / NA 2 - Small retail 1,200 Sqft / NA 5 - Restaurant 1,300 Sqft / NA 3 - Garden apt 74,562 Sqft / Units
FTC Staff
December 13, 2017

In reply to by SUMMERFISH

This FTC article about timeshares and vacation plans has tips about what to do if you're thinking of using a reseller.

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

ravenmsg
December 17, 2017

In reply to by SUMMERFISH

I contacted my timeshare company and was informed Silver City is a scam. You don't have to take my word for it, but I find it suspicious that a company's phone number would change without being forewarned ahead of time. I'm not going any further with the company and plan on voluntarily surrendering my timeshare to the timeshare company next year since paying the maintenance fees is not worth it anymore. In the end I figure I save $10G over the next 18 years by surrendering than paying the fees. I wish Silver City was legit due to the offer, but my research and my gut tells me it's a scam.
searching
December 20, 2017

In reply to by ravenmsg

how is it a scam if they are not asking for cash up front?
ravenmsg
December 21, 2017

In reply to by searching

They won't ask for cash up front, but when it comes time to transfer the title they will ask you to wire them cash for a title transfer fee. Or they will use the old you owe the Mexican Government back taxes or taxes for this sale. Hey it's on you if you want to trust the company, but the research I have conducted leads me to believe it is a scam. I rather be safe than sorry. Plus the price they are willing to pay for my timeshare is BS. Mexico is becoming more and more dangerous everyday and less and less Americans are vacationing in Mexico. Your going to tell me that a buyer is willing to pay $18k for a timeshare every other year? I don't buy it.
Smellarat
January 01, 2018

In reply to by searching

We were also contacted by Jeremy Kaufman of Silver City Propertiesny. As someone listed earlier their address is non existent and addresses on real estate licenses are residences. The escrow company states address of 8o State Street however a call to property management reported no such tenant in the building. Escrow application is in Spanish was a red flag. I started contacting every government agency including FTC and escrow company not licensed. Because silver city thinks they’re smarter than time share owners they have changed up the scam racket in not asking for money upfront. Therefore, they bait you with “good offer from intentional investors” and if you are unfortunately scammed your money will go into an escrow account that you will never see. I only wish we dragged them along longer to waste more of their time then see what they said when I told them what escrow company we we using in the transaction. We lost no money just time but was worth the hours spent reporting them to government agencies because these companies need to be shut down.
Disappointed
January 03, 2018

In reply to by Smellarat

I was also contacted by Jeremy Kaufman several times and he was very good at selling himself and Silver City Properties. Jeremy just sent me an acceptance letter of $48,400 which is a great offer, but like all of you I did research and found it all to false which leads me to believe this is one HUGE SCAM!! I will not be signing this document and when I speak with him tomorrow I will have a few questions for him then I will be contacting BBB and all other agencies that deal with these scammers. Something needs to be done and I will do my part and I hope all of you will do the same. Good luck and god bless you all.
FTC Staff
January 04, 2018

In reply to by Disappointed

If you spot a scam, you can help law enforcement by reporting it. Go to FTC.gov/complaint and provide as many details as you can. The information you give goes into a secure database that law enforcement agencies nationwide use for investigations. Thank you.

Holli Wood
March 07, 2018

In reply to by searching

they get you all set up with a sale and then they tell you you need to pay the Mexican Govt a fee. It has to be by a personal chech or Money order and can not be transferred from the escrowed money from the sale
Smellarat
January 01, 2018

In reply to by ravenmsg

We ran into the exact same situation including appraisal value of $18, 400. They sound like reading off written cue cards and think you’re convinced they are a legit company as no monies charged upfront. We did all the same research as you did and I just wish I did what I usually do whenever an unknown number comes up on phone and do a google search. We realized the scam when escrow application was in Spanish. Hopefully they will start making an honest living doing an honest job when no one falls for their scam.
JR
December 11, 2017
What do you know about Madison Point Partners from Kansas City, MO?
Tired of scams
January 08, 2018

In reply to by JR

My husband has been in touch with Madison Point Partner’s and I keep telling him that I think it is a scram. Did you find out anything?
cinders
December 11, 2017
I have just been contacted by Silver City also. Are you telling me they're a scam too? Chris Els? He said to send a copy of the proof of ownership and they would appraise the property and then let us know the what the investors would pay. I can't keep up with these calls, what are the right questions to ask? They seem to have an answer.
FTC Staff
December 12, 2017

In reply to by cinders

The FTC article about Timeshares has tips about what to do if you want to resell. The first tip:

  • Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you check on the reseller. Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if there are any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints. Type in the company name and the word "complaint" or "review."

Go to the Timeshare article for more tips.

Nicolesmith12345
January 21, 2018

In reply to by cinders

How did silver city work out for you? They have contacted me as well.
Bjsofp
January 23, 2018

In reply to by Nicolesmith12345

I have been contacted by Silver Crty properties as well. Can’t find out anything about them.
TStroubleIthink
January 30, 2018

In reply to by Nicolesmith12345

they contacted me as well and provided an offer. Haven't moved forward with all of this blog info although it appears no one has moved forward. tried calling and writing attorney general's office but get a run around no matter who I speak too.
ttort
January 21, 2018

In reply to by cinders

Did you do business with silver city properties in Rochester New York? They contacted me about my cabo fiesta Americana timeshare
Rickara
December 14, 2017
We were contacted by Regal-M, Inc. in Oklahoma City. They were using Berkshire Green in Wyomissing, PA to handle finances. They offered $28,969 for property in Cancun. We were to send $3,300 to bank in Mexico which we would get back when closing was final. Seems too good to be true. Anyone heard of these companies?
Rickara
December 14, 2017
We were contacted by Regal-M, Inc. in Oklahoma City. They were using Berkshire Green in Wyomissing, PA to handle finances. They offered $28,969 for property in Cancun. We were to send $3,300 to bank in Mexico which we would get back when closing was final. Seems too good to be true. Anyone heard of these companies?
PlanningDev
January 11, 2018

In reply to by Shamus

Same here, has anyone had any experience with these guys? They want fees wired to escrow for a bank account in Mexico with banamex bank.
25nesie
August 03, 2018

In reply to by PlanningDev

We have been contacted by 3 individual time share buyers. They are hungry dogs! We wired $2,100. after being told it was the fee to release us from our membership at PB Sunset Beach in Cabos. We still thought we were going through with the sale until they had someone from a bogus bank in NY call us to say it was in escrow, but the Mexican gov. required us to pay Capitol Gains of $4,250. to release the funds to our bank. THEN, we got a threatening email from "The Mexican government" saying we had 24 hours to wire the money or they would have an arrest warrant out for us for tax evasion. PLEASE don't fall for these scams. Dream Vacation, CTrip, International Leader Realty, Sanders Law Group......
PlanningDev
January 11, 2018

In reply to by Shamus

This is seeming more and more like a scam. The websites for Berkshire Green Inc and Regal-M were created on the same exact day and time even though they claim to be separate entities with different incorporation dates.
Raela
January 12, 2018

In reply to by PlanningDev

I paid only half paying the rest next week...are they really a scam? Omg someone help me
coff coff coffee
January 13, 2018

In reply to by PlanningDev

Been contacted three times kinda pushy but funny have told them I won't send money no how no way will see if they still wanna deal..... I'm betting not and its a BIG scam. Story is good tho they buy property for an investor company to use as perks etc
Don't use your…
December 14, 2017
I was also contacted by Rock River Partners Firm....has anyone done sold a timeshare successfully with them?? Please respond to this comment.
Bernie
February 10, 2018

In reply to by Don't use your…

They are fraudulent, Rock River Partners Firm and Vinter Trust & Assets -- same fake company. Their addresses are bogus, they are not registered companies. IP address has traces to England