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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.

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".
xxnz
April 06, 2018

In reply to by Links2

Evergreen contacted us too. Quick talker and quoted purchase amount 2 times original sales price.
Burned before
May 11, 2018

In reply to by xxnz

I've had 2 calls from Evergreen but really feel this is a scam as timeshares are almost worthless now days. I told them previously that 35 to 46K was ridiculous so they came back w a 15K offer. I'm sure it's a scam!
mere5
August 03, 2017
Do somebody know a CO. named escape with travels that offer to buy your timeshare and they use a lawyer office of " Constance A. Smith" in California? Then contacted us to make an offer for our timeshare in Pueblo Bonito, but we think it is a scam.
pop25
August 04, 2017

In reply to by mere5

I was contacted this week by "Escape with Travels"as well for Pueblo Bonito. The process they describe is using the Lawyer, and wiring money to me before I release or sign docs. Sounds too good to be true- so i am skeptical. Any other feedback on this company or this Lawyer?. No request for money upfront, commission 8% paid from proceeds. They want my first page of contract, and I am thinking there must be some other scam here...
AngryDupe
August 04, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Be very suspicious of a SCAM when: 1. They contact you out of the blue with all your timeshare info. and they know all about you 2. Did you contact the resort about selling? 3. They start asking for WIRE TRANSFERS up front with promises to pay you back at closing because the Buyer is responsible for these 4. Never send wire transfers to anyone you do not know. Per my bank's wire transfer team: The beneficiary bank has no obligation to trace or refund the money to. Once the money goes out over wire, it is a GIFT...gone! The Mexican government does not require taxes and fees when selling or buying a timeshare. If you are a US citizen, it just a membership, not deeded property. If you signed documents and they threaten to "take you to court" for payment of fees or commissions, I bet is just empty threats to get you to pay the money. Talk to the FTC, state attorney's office in your state, local authorities, etc. I bet they won't have a legal leg upon which to stand.
tanker47
August 10, 2017

In reply to by pop25

I was also contacted by "Escape with Travels" and have received offer. I have not sent first page of contract, am wondering if any others have proceeded further along with this company and the outcome of their experiences.
lbrad79
August 17, 2017

In reply to by tanker47

I've also been contacted by Escape With Travels, and was advised of the same 8% commission fee. Their website seems pretty legit, but I don't trust that this offer is real.
Blaze132
August 21, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Same Here. I cannot find anything on the lawyer they are using except they did give the OH bar number she has. What you do think!
nav33d
August 30, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Hey There, don't waste your time any more!! We have been dealing w/ Escape with Travels & the law firm of Constance Smith. In our initial research, we thought they were all valid, they even used their proper BarCard#275320 & used the same logo of our timeshare co on the paperwork. Even when they asked to wire $3k+ to a Banc Santander a/c, we still believed them because they had somebody else pretending our timeshare co calling us confirming the amount to be paid [instead we should have called the timeshare directly & verified]. After wiring the money on last Friday, they told us yesterday that to sell in MX, we have to pay 20% tax, & they had IDFC bank from NY call us to confirm the amount of $10k+ for it. That's when it got to us... no way we would pay another $10k after wiring $3k. At that time, we called our TimeShare co directly & verified that all those papers they sent, names they used are ALL FAKE!! They never received any money. We went to the bank & started investigation, but the money is gone from the MX a/c already. We told the law firm that to refund or we'd report her to the CA State Bar of Ethics [we have a lawyer friend, who confirmed that the law firm is valid & her barcard is active..]. This is a VERY SOPHISTICATED SCAM!!!
MicMan50
November 06, 2017

In reply to by pop25

Do not, under any circumstance, deal with "Escape with Travels". They start out using Constance Smith, Atty firm and change when your sale is denied by Pueblo Bonito. Then promises are made that the denial of sale can be reversed by ProFeCo (a Mexican government agency). All lies. They changed to D Marie Sherman out of Casper, Wyoming and nothing she promised came to pass. DO NOT WIRE MONEY!
letsgo
September 06, 2017

In reply to by mere5

I too was contacted by Escape with Travel with a very convincing sales pitch and lots of money (way more than I initially paid). It sounded too good to be true. When I told the sales agent, Anthony Garcia, about my concern, he had Adam call me to resolve my concerns. Adam seemed to have all the answers to my questions and told me that I didn't actually sell the timeshare until I had received funds and then I would "endorse" the documents to be returned to an attorney, D. Marie Sherman, in WY. I was still hesitant and decided to call my timeshare owner. I was informed that this company, along with Decolar and 1st Realty who also contacted me were all fraudulent companies. I was given a phone number of a place where they have used to buy timeshares. I have made a call and left a message for that company to give me a call. Not sure I will go with them, but I am certainly not going with any of the other three I mentioned above. Hope this helps.
AngryDupe
November 02, 2017

In reply to by letsgo

You mentioned the names Anthony Garcia and an attorney named Adam!!! RED FLAG these are the same names that were given to me when I was duped out of thousands with International Realty Corp. and West United. Would not doubt that this is the same "ring" of scammer/thieves!! Wonder how many names they go by.
Michael A.
September 07, 2017

In reply to by mere5

This is a total scam. I am now working with the local authorities and the FBI. We lost over $30K. I went to their 'office' in Sacremento, surprise, NO OFFICE there (today, September 6, 2017). If you know anything about this please get in touch.
FTC Staff
September 07, 2017

In reply to by Michael A.

We removed your email from this post. We don't publish personal details in the blog. Please report scams to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint, so the information gets to law enforcement. Your reports to the FTC are added to a database that law enforcement agencies nationwide use for investigations.

timeshareresalescam
August 03, 2017
international realty corporation is a scam. please protect yourselves. google Mexican wire transfer scam, or Mexican bank scam and you will see the step by step process they use to SCAM you. don't get caught by this SCAM like some of us were. pass the word and file reports as mentioned here in FTC.
MadWoman
August 03, 2017
This is a scam. Totally sweet talk. I lost thousands. Dont listen to what they said or offer to you. International Realty Corporation and West United Services keep telling me its for Mexican Goverment. Mexican Goverment whom asking for money.
MN vacationers
August 07, 2017
So happy we found this site. Colorado Real Estate Dynamics seems to be the newest of these scamming companies. We're at the earliest stages of a "deal" with a letter of intent in hand, but strangely/stupidly 3 of their agents have called us separately in the past week raising flags. After reading the stories here, we'll go with the old adage "if it seems too good to be true, it is." So are there any legitimate services for selling a Mexican timeshare we no longer use?