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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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cloudnine
February 22, 2018
Was approached by Bluelight Realty Management Group LLC-333 Hudson St. New York, NY 10013 to buy our travel club membership for unbelievable amount. Buyer to pay escrow fee for escrow account, buyer to pay federal tax in mexico, American Finance-New York in charge of escrow account with Citibanamex in Mexico City. New ammendment for us to send payment $4,298 US for RFC # Mexican Federal ID#,?? Yes, did this, got copy for our RFC approved with copy of supposed buyer paid Mexican federal tax. Now new request is that we have to sent $8,298 US to Mexico for the 15% Quintana Roo state tax, which is to be reimbursed from buyer to escrow account but want more money upfront from us??? What to do?? Anyone have more information on Bluelight whether scam or real? Really not feeling the love so if anyone can provide information or who to contact? Thanks
FTC Staff
February 23, 2018

In reply to by cloudnine

Did you check the companies with any government agencies? If a company calls you and offers to sell your timeshare, read the FTC tips about selling a timeshare. Here's the first tip:

Skeptic
February 23, 2018

In reply to by cloudnine

Yep. Identical to my story with Silver City. Not paying more.
riggerman84
February 27, 2018

In reply to by cloudnine

It seems they all do the same. The company name may change but everything else is the same. If you pay the 15% tax then the next fee they want to charge is a new legislation for registering timeshares. It doesn't stop. All to be paid by buyer. I have been dealing with Silvercity properties as well as American finance. Don Campbell from Silvercity and Benjamin Carmon at American finance. Now that I have read more and more about this, I feel like an idiot for paying them. I have refused any more and told them to take it out of the escrow account. Waiting for there reply. Should be interesting to hear what they say.
Skeptic
February 27, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

I called the security office (518-462-5626) of the building address of 80 State Street, Albany, NY, where American Finance states is their location. The officer said that agency is not located in that building, then she immediately asked if I’m trying to “serve papers.” Guess I’m not the first person to ask.
Skeptic
February 28, 2018

In reply to by Skeptic

I’m unable to confirm that the Rochester address for Silver City Properties is legitimate. According to New York realty license website that agency is officially located in New York City at Beekman Apartments. The agent listed on the license, A.G. Silver, apparently moved out in 2016 according to public records.
Skeptic
March 07, 2018

In reply to by Skeptic

Further checking indicates the address Silver City Properties uses, 347 E Main St, Rochester, is not currently active. The entire building is now occupied by the NY State Dept of Health, and the street number for the entire building is now 335. Perhaps in the past a door at the corner of the building carried the number 347, but now that’s an entrance to an HIV clinic. No realty offices are in the building according to the Dept of Health.
Skeptic
March 07, 2018

In reply to by Skeptic

Checking public records shows that adding “c/o Corporation Services” below American Finance will give the complete address on 80 State Street. It’s an agency on the 10th floor that handles corporate mail and other business services.
Tarun
March 16, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

I am also contacted by Peter Lane from SilverCity Properties asking to send $2436.00 to get the TAX ID of Mexico, which raises red flag to me, they said the total amount will be refunadable but why can't they pay upfront or withdrw it from Escrow after the transaction.
Wondering Myself
March 28, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

I too have been dealing with Silver City and American Finance - same story about taxes, fees, etc. Where are you now in the process? Did they get back to you on your last request? I notices they are not at the Albany address for American Finance and that the Citibanamex attorneys are not listed in a listing of attornies in Mexico.
Sam
February 28, 2018

In reply to by cloudnine

I was contacted by the same company. Did you hear anything about them? Seems fishy.
Skeptic
March 08, 2018

In reply to by cloudnine

Regarding the 15% State sales tax in Quintana Roo that the seller must pay? My sales agent at the timeshare I own in Cancun says that’s not true and just part of the scam. I’ve searched all over the internet and can’t find such a tax exists either.
Skeptic
March 09, 2018

In reply to by Skeptic

After being contacted by a purported “government agent for SAT in Mexico (who never E-mailed me his credentials like he said he would),” explaining the dire consequences of not paying the 15% Quintana Roo sales taxes, I contacted an English speaking lawyer in Mexico who stated he gets about 10 clients per week regarding this. He stated it’s all totally a fraud, and I should report all this info to PROFECO, the consumer protection agency in Mexico. That agency is easily found on google.
Confused
March 28, 2018

In reply to by cloudnine

We have exactly the same situation, same property and people/company involved.
Michael
February 23, 2018
R5 Realty has done the same to me. We own El Cid points sand the offer was too goo do be true. I checked with New Mexico and finally found a doc. at the Secretary of State that this biz was defunct.
Nabilah
March 22, 2018

In reply to by Michael

Can I ask where you found the document? R5 gave me a call yesterday and today they've emailed me an offer letter. Like you said it's too good to be true...and I've been reading all sorts of things online which has convinced me it's a scam...but I was just curious what this document looks like. I'd appreciate it of you can point me in the right direction!
Albertan56
February 23, 2018
Has anyone dealt with Sugar Creek Property Investments and St Johns Escrow service?? Why would a real estate company use an out of state escrow service?
Albertan56
February 23, 2018
I did check with the state, the agent is active but the company is not registered with the NC real estate commission. Still curious why they would use an out of state escrow service.
Patti
March 06, 2018
Another scam business--Nationwide Settlement Solutions 420 S. Enterprise, Missouri phone no. 417-812-6593..Will not remove from calling list or mailing; very abusive....
MARION2640
March 06, 2018
Has anyone been scammed by Royal Star Properties out of Portland Oregon? They have contacted me hoping to buy weeks at Mayan Palace Riviera Maya, 15 weeks for $42,000. Sounds too good to be true.
Holli Wood
March 07, 2018
I was contacted by a broker named Peter J Lang (1-866-380-6297 Ext.691) from Silver City Properties. He said he had a buyer who was willing to pay me $109,00.00 for my timeshare at the GRAND Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta. He claimed my timeshare was appraised at $109,000, over three times the amount I paid for. He stated that there were 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 did some research 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 Google the address, go to street view it shows a building with a door. However, if you check the BB they are not rated and mail was returned. The building Google street view is showing is an apartment complex. 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 am pretty sure this is a scam this is a scam.
river-wind
March 16, 2018

In reply to by Holli Wood

Just contacted the Properties office for Monroe County, NYS, and they have confirmed that no business by the name of Silver City Properties is registered in the county, and that there is no 347 E. Main St; as mentioned above, the building shown by Google Maps is actually addressed on East Ave. I'm currently contacting the State AG's office to see about filing a complaint; anyone who has actually seen damages due to this company should contact them as well. If this is in fact a scam, then they will know what to do next.
Tarun
March 16, 2018

In reply to by Holli Wood

I was also contacted by the same people, and after reading all these incidents reported I am very sure this a scam, thanks for sharing your experience.
No Fool on the…
March 07, 2018
I just confirmed with New Mexico Real Estate Commission (505) 222-9820 (ask for lead investigator Lin Carter or his assistant Jill) that this is a scam. Its a variation of the Nigerian Prince scam. They offered to buy my time share for more than it was purchased for. They then set up what looks like a legitimate escrow. At the end, before they close, they tell you to send them money for taxes or commission. Bye Bye money. Remember, if it's too good to be true... IT IS A SCAM!
LLG
March 08, 2018
Had many conversations with Ryan Manley of Golden Asia Realty, offered me $130,000 for a timeshare that we paid $41,000 for. After further discussion, Ryan said they would need to reappraise, and then offered $233,000; when asked why anyone would want to spend that much money when they could just buy it for $41,000, Ryan said 'for tax purposes.' I asked many times if there would be any upfront money, and he kept telling me no. Even though we knew he must be full of...crap, we kept talking to him. He sent a lot of official looking paperwork, we were contacted by Nations Capital Inc., a title insurance company. The girl there told me all I had to do was send $5,200 for the RFC number (in order to pay the Mexico taxes), then the closing could be set. I called Ryan back and told him we would NOT be sending them any money, and he said it was necessary for the number. I reminded him that he said we would not need to send any money. He said that we could go to Mexico ourselves and get the number; I told him that would not be happening either. He said that I'd either have to get the number myself or send them the money for it. I again told him that I would not be doing either of those things, he asked why I wouldn't want $233,000. I said that if he could figure out how to get the number with no money from us, then go for it. I haven't heard from him since. (I was also told by our timeshare that there is no tax due in Mexico.) I still have all the paperwork they sent. I'm thankful that we had we are slightly suspicious by nature and sent them no money.
Debbin
March 12, 2018
So, ARE there any legitimate companies out there?? ARE there any companies out there that charge a fee on contingency??? If they succeed in resolving the consumer's involvement, the consumer pays. It's sound great that they guarantee money back, but that means nothing if they do nothing and just disappear. Good luck getting that money back. So, who does one go to???? Any suggestions??
kkc
March 13, 2018
Anyone hear anything positive or negative about Sugar Creek Property Investments, or Sugar Creek Investments from Charlotte NC? They are offering quite a sum for my time share in Cabo. It does seem too good to be true. I haven't signed the intent to sell document, so I don't know if they hit you with the fee after receipt.
powderpuff
March 13, 2018
Had the same experience similar to many of the bloggers. PINNACLE VACATIONS is the company. They charged ~$1,700 for timeshare resale, advertising, promotion, etc. Promised it will go towards the resale price. One year ago, I saw the unit on their resale website. Not anymore. It was supposed to be 90 days, then 180 days, then one year, and now no answer even though we were promised a no-cost refund after the year. What did anyone of you do to recover the cost and dis-credit the company? Better Business Bureau BBB.gov gave us no response either. Small claims? A lawyer? Don't want to deal with another scam artist!
kdk
March 15, 2018
Just received 2 offers from Trip.com and Remate. Anyone had any dealings with them? They have asked for no $ and I told them I would give them no money until sale is completed. They both still want to proceed. ???
Belltree48
March 20, 2018

Got phone call from Golden Asia Realty offering a really large amount for our time share. Looked them up on lone- they have web page says they are in NYC...so I checked- read below:

NYS Department of State Division of Corporations Informational Message The information contained in this database is current through March 16, 2018. No business entities were found for Golden Asia Realty. Please refine your search criteria. To continue please do the following: Tab to Ok and press the Enter key or Click Ok.

Discouraged 12…
April 06, 2018

In reply to by Belltree48

Recd same call from Golden Asia; wanted 9% commission plus for us to pay $5275 to firm handling sale in Mexico! Spoke w/ a Mr Borchini & a Calvin Barrett! Shame on them to try to scam 2 seniors!!
hamair
April 06, 2018

In reply to by Belltree48

I have been working with Golden Asian Realty and nations capital for some months now. Unfortunately, I have lost money to them. Them being Mexico. Golden Asian Realty has a really elaborate set up. So many red flags , However, they have answers for everything. Still can’t believe they might be scammers. They really convinced me. be very very careful
Another one scammed
April 14, 2018

In reply to by hamair

Report them to FBI Field Office. Scammed us too. When there is enough money loss. FBI will go after them for us.
Another one scammed
April 14, 2018

In reply to by hamair

Report to FBI and AG's. Need enough fraud for them to investigate. We lost a lot. Please team up with us.
Corvette70
April 11, 2018

In reply to by Belltree48

I have been approached by Golden Asia Realty also. I looked at New York's BBB for Golden Asia Realty with no luck. Nations Capital Inc is the Title Services Company and I could not find them at New York's Licensing Agency DFS.
Canadaman
April 11, 2018

In reply to by Belltree48

I got this same phone call from a so called Anthony from Gilden Asia realty. I know all about these scams so I played with him for a few weeks but then shut him down with my own lies, funny he don’t email or call anymore. Haha
SoCalSurf
March 21, 2018
Yet another new one to watch out for, Halicon Brokerage Group. They claim to be in Chicago, though judging by the quality of their phone lines, probably really in the Lost City of Atlantis. Total scam, no broker licence and of course not really at the address they are saying. Be careful everyone.
SoCalSurf
March 21, 2018
Yet another new name to add to the scammer list. Halicon Brokerage Group out of Chicago IL. To begin with they made a ridiculous unsolicited offer. Next as I keep saying, any broker in the US must by law list their broker number on their website. Of coarse they don't list or even have one. The are a new company whose website server is in Europe somewhere. Their phone sounds as if they are located in the Lost City of Atlantis. So I'm sure their call did not really originate in Chicago. The street address they list does not have a Halicon Brokerage Group there...Please be careful everyone. Just because they have a nice looking website, does not mean they are real. People are sometimes desperate to sell their timeshare, but no one will ever unsolicited offer you more than you paid, EVER.
yellowtang
April 09, 2018

In reply to by SoCalSurf

Hi SoCal Surf: this company from Chicago is , indeed, acscammer. They hack into legit Realty company’s phone system and client base, learns how the other company goes through the process then they start calling clients. Recently, they were able to tap into the data and phone base of Golden Asia Realty. When this so-called bogus campany “usually Robert” calls, he will pose as Golden Asia Realty and as the Title company, as well. Just to be sure, do your diligence by getting as much information you can get from your salesman then ask for their current license number. Then go to the State Realty licensing office. If the name does not apprear then he is bogus. If he gave you a livense number, still check the realtor state licensing dept to mske sure that the license number co inside with the one showing on the State listing.
meg
March 24, 2018
Having the same experience with Halicon. Does anyone have anything positive with them?
drgeophys
April 04, 2018

In reply to by meg

Halicon Brokerage Group is NOT a real business. After a number of conversations, they were still not able to point me to US IRS language that would show I am not held to capital gains taxes, as they claim. They also were not able to provide me their broker/license numbers. The address they provided on website and the "Certified Offer" letter they emailed me is in Chicago, but when I reached out to the building owner, they do not have office space there and were identified as a scam. I also called Vidanta, the vacation resort my contract is with, and they have been reported several times. Even though the Illinois Attorney General's office does not have complaints and on file and they have an account with BBB, they are NOT a legitimate business. All information they had on my contact was acquired illegally and not because of Vidanta (they claimed because they had a certified buyer they were able to know some details before approaching me for negotiations). DO NOT continue any communications with Halicon.
Scott
April 04, 2018

In reply to by meg

I have a guy from Halicon offering me $ with no up front fees at all. None for Mexico taxes or fees either. He says he gets the 8% commission when the deal is done and I am already paid. The timeshare is the one wanting me to pay $1800 closing costs to sign over to new owner. Are you asked to pay up front fees?
drgeophys
April 04, 2018

In reply to by Scott

Halicon sets up an escrow account for the "buyer" to deposit your agreed purchase amount into. Once there, you are asked to pay Halicon the commission, but it is not allowed to come out of the final transaction or from the escrow account. You will be asked/required to pay the commission amount from your personal bank account. My suspicion is that once you do that, the escrow account is closed, leaving you without your money.
Don't use your…
April 07, 2018

In reply to by Scott

Notice on Halicon's "website" they do not have a Real Estate Brokers Licence. Any real estate broker knows, by law, they MUST list their licence number. They are a scam, run away as fast as you can.
T Todd
March 26, 2018
Has anyone heard of Marketing Trustees of America. They want to sell my timeshare at Marina Fiesta to a ready buyer but I need to send $3995 to the Notario first. Sound Familiar?
JKetcham
April 02, 2018

In reply to by T Todd

We've recently received an offer from the same company for the same fee for our Hacienda (sister to Marina) timeshare. Have you received any other information?
LAS
April 03, 2018
what about Magnum Realty Group - out of California?? Bought Vacation Time Share - down payment of $8000 and then cancelled my credit card the very next month. They got the 8000 but are now telling me that someone wants to buy my timeshare for $16000 US. Highly unlikely. please help if you know anything.
Trinidad Girl
April 03, 2018
I was also contacted by Halicon. Any insight to this Company?