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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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cmor
April 03, 2018
has anyone been scammed by golden asia realty or nation's capital inc?
Jenna
April 04, 2018
Golden Asia Realty wants to sell my timeshare for a large amount. They work with Nations Capital Inc. Both are in New York. Has anyone worked with them and what was the result?
hamair
April 09, 2018

In reply to by Jenna

Yes, regrettably. I researched them what I thought was very closely, but evidently not closely enough. I seemed to have lost money with them. Their answer was Mexico took it. Now they want me to pay brokers fees for deal that has gone bad because I withdrew my request to sell. They have many red flags in their operation. In fact I saw similar format with other scams on the Internet. It matched them to a T. Their organizational scheme is quite sophisticated and they do seem real. However, when I asked them for a photograph from their office window with the salesman unit, whose name was used at that time of Robert T Edwards, they refused to send any photographs stating it was against the law to show any personal information to the seller. Figure that out. My position is now Dash run away as fast as you can.
Scott
April 04, 2018
Halicon website not even 1 yr old. Huge RED FLAG. I don't see any info on Halicon. They offered me $ with nothing up front. Only 8% commission on the back end after I am paid. The timeshare wants to charge me $1800 i closing costs. Any info on Halicon would be appreciated. Thanks
meg
April 06, 2018

In reply to by Scott

I was offered similiar deal by halicon. Commission is paid on the back end. However when it came time to sign the contract they needed 3500 for resort fees which would be reimbursed after closing. Told them i would think about it and haven't from them since. Not sure why anyone would pay triple for what i bought a couple of years ago.
Barbara
April 08, 2018
Anyone heard of Colorado One Real Estate, LLC? They have a website, but the person contacting me is not listed. I received an unsolicited offer to sell or rent my timeshare.
KK
April 12, 2018

In reply to by Barbara

Hi Barbara. I was also contacted by Colorado Real estate. The guy I was dealing with said his name is Leonard Hoffman. He offered a good price to buy my timeshare. SInce I have been genuinely busy i didnt get a chance to respond to his request. He called 4 times asking me to fax/email him my time share contract. I was just about to email him my contract (off course with pertinent informations blacked out) and I decided to search his company and found you. We should update each other.
Andy P
April 17, 2018

In reply to by Barbara

Colorado One Real Estate has called me 10 times in 7 days, and offerred me $236,100 for a time share that cost me $10,200 when I negotiated it last year. Seems like a score, LOL..........
Arvada
April 10, 2018
Anyone been contacted for Mayan Palace TS purchase by NATIONAL BROKERAGE CORPORATION of NYC, and thier partner CCW HOLDINGS acting as the Escrow agent, using CITIBANAMEX to hold the trust account for completion of the purchase ?
chica
April 12, 2018

In reply to by Arvada

can you please tell us what happened> I have been contacted as well
Lito
April 16, 2018

In reply to by Arvada

I was contacted by one Ann Marquez with the offer to buy our time shares in Cancun, Mexico. First they were asking for 11% commission upon the sale of the timeshares, which they later removed from the contract. They told me that the buyer is a Chinese Company Shandong Gold based in China, The offer looked too good to ignore and we signed the letter of intent to sell. Quite a few emails transpired and then they sent me a statement form an escrow Company Named CCW Holdings based in New York City. The money was held in escrow by CITIBANAMEX. Then they said that we have to pay the two state taxes for the timeshares, Quintana Roo and Jalisco. They sent the two invoices from said states, and they looked authentic, so we sent the wire transfers to the escrow company, and they sent a receipt from CITIBANAMEX. As time went by, we ended up paying a Customs License for the money to be transferred into our account. Everything looked good until CITIBANAMEX required us to pay 42,000USD for a "license bond" to be returned to us after 15 days of the sale- supposed to protect the bank and us for FATCA and money laundering- sounds very legitimate!! Here comes the bomb- CITIBANAMEX wired the money to our account at Bank of America, but the account number was wrong, and BA refused the wire. CCW Holdings asked the Mexican bank to re-wire the money to the correct account, then we received word from NBC that the buyer walked out of the deal, and CITIBANAMEX cancelled the escrow and transferred al the money to another bank BANCOMER. Now NBC tells me ( this time it's the NBC owner Charles Beck ) that I will have to go to court in Mexico City to get my money out of escrow, at my own expense and to have my lawyer represent us. I think that NBC, CCW Holdings and the Mexican Banks are in cahoots with each other. This Charles Beck even said that I will lose all my money if I don't show up during the court hearing. He was also very rude and unprofessional when he was talking with me- Please, HELP!!! I only survive on my SSS retirement...
FTC Staff
April 17, 2018

In reply to by Lito

You or your lawyer could contact your state Attorney General,  your bank, or the bank that is holding your money. You could report the timeshare company to the wire transfer company you used to send the money.Call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or the MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1‑800‑926‑9400.

The United States Embassy in Mexico has this information for US citizens about banks in Mexico:   Banking: If you are having problems with a bank account in Mexico, you may contact the CONDUSEF (National Commission for the Protection of Users of Financial Services) telephone toll free from any location inside Mexico: 01 800 999 80 80.  Webpage: www.condusef.gob.mx

Robert
January 23, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

How do I file a complaint regarding the scam of buying back timeshares?
Eln
April 18, 2018

In reply to by Lito

I’m in the same situation. Contacted by Sarah Steiner from NBC. Also an escrow officer named Damian Kennedy from CCW Holding. Please help!
reindeer
May 11, 2018

In reply to by Lito

Same situation here! I am open to suggestions on getting my money back and how to report these people. Have you had calls from Matthew Simmon-supposedly the CEO of the company
Same story-Let…
May 15, 2018

In reply to by reindeer

Same story-A Realty Group(Magnum Realty-Bradley Johnson) calls they have a buyer for our Vidanta(Grand Bliss) Mexico timeshare that we got scammed on when we bought years ago. The offer is 4x what we paid(too good to be true-1st RED flag). They set up an escrow account(@Citibanmex) in our name with a Officer(Erick Esparza w/Capital Transfer Associated Services, LP). Then the Mexico government supposedly wants taxes and they request wire transfers. Unfortunately We fell for the first request $3,200.The documents are so official looking and for every wire amount they asked for the money would be put in the fake escrow account.How could we loose? When the second transfer request came in we called the phone numbers on the Citibanamex account statement, they did not work. We called Citibank in the state we live they gave us the international phone number. Surprise surprise they could NOT verify the account!! The account#s, CLABE #s, and federal registration #s were not any numbers they could verify. When we called the "Escrow holder"-Erick Esparza he called me a liar and said his other customers were able to verify the escrow accounts.After that call we emailed Bradley saying the escrow money needs to be in a trust account in our name.... That all went down on Friday and today(Tuesday) we received a cancellation notice from Magnum that we OWE them commission and if not paid they will bring legal actions against us. HA (The FINAL attempt to get money out of us). TODAY I have filed a complaint with the FTC and plan on reporting to the state legislator. I suggest all of you to do the same.We need to STOP this cycle! Our stories are all the same with different players!!
Bilked-in-puer…
September 18, 2018

In reply to by Arvada

Oh yeah. Get calls all the time from some sort of agent with hot buyers.
Wishful thinking?
April 12, 2018
One one contact by R5 Realty and Escrow Management of Colorado? They are using CITIBANAMEX too.
Jason i
April 18, 2018

In reply to by Wishful thinking?

R5realty New Mexico Jason Theodore. Escrow Management PATRICK LUNA COLORADO. Scammers yeah me and my wife are several thousand dollars we live on Social Security they are the lowest of low people I’m sure my money is lost but I have turn them in to the FTC and Attorney General

reindeer
April 14, 2018
Has anyone closed a deal with NBC Network Brokerage Corp in New York, dealing with CCW Holding LLC as the escrow agents?
Eln
April 18, 2018

In reply to by reindeer

I’m dealing with them right now. I’m in the situation they are asking me to pay upfront for Quintana Roo state tax and will get reimbursed. CCW sent me a statement from CitiAmex that the money already deposited.
FTC Staff
April 18, 2018

In reply to by Eln

If you are selling a timeshare and the company asks for money in advance, that is a sign of a scam, and a signt that you don’t want to do business with the company.

Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you check out the resale company. 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. Type the company name into your computer with the word "complaints" or "reviews" and see what other people say about this company.

Mc use your e-…
April 15, 2018
Watch out for Sugar Creek Investment from Charlotte and St John Escrow out of Baltimore. Very believable and a total scam.
Concerneddaughter
April 28, 2018

In reply to by Mc use your e-…

My parents have been contacted by this company. Can you tell me how you are sure it’s a scam
FTC Staff
April 30, 2018

In reply to by Concerneddaughter

If you are selling a timeshare and the company asks for money in advance, that is a sign of a scam, and a sign that you don’t want to do business with the company.

Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you check out the resale company. 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. Type the company name into your computer with the word "complaints" or "reviews" and see what other people say about this company.

Read more about buying and selling a timeshare.

Ripped off
May 08, 2018

In reply to by Concerneddaughter

There are 8-10 complaints filed with the Attorney General in North Carolina. There are more complaints filed with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. They are illegally using the identities of actual licensed brokers who have nothing to do with this. There is are at least two police reports. The website is a fraud and their emails are now down, as are St. John's Escrow, the alleged escrow company for the deal, which is also a total fraud. Advise your parents to cease communications.
Marcia
April 30, 2018

In reply to by Mc use your e-…

they are very believable and robbed of us over $10,000.CDN
kodi jay
April 16, 2018
Has anyone been contacted by Bruce Keller of AltaVista realty? He contacted me about selling my timeshare in Mexico.
socal
April 18, 2018
Has anyone been contacted by BlueLight Realty Management Group LLC? They have approached me much the same way as many of you have. Calling me for months on end to sell my Cancun timeshare offering me double what I paid. All sounded legitimate with the documents they sent me. Then they said I need to apply for a Mexican Visa permit and that I had to travel to Mexico City to do it. I told them I could not do that so they offered to do it for me and have their lawyer register but I would need to wire them $2,150 to cover the fees and then the sell would take place and funds placed into an escrow and would be paid in 30 days. Seems very suspicious. How can you tell if these are legitimate?? Any thoughts on this?
BobF
April 27, 2018

In reply to by socal

They have been contacting me over the past several months as well. My property is near Cancun as well. I have been very skeptical and have asked them for contacts of any perviously satisfied customers. I have yet to send them any documents confirming my ownership.
Honey
May 04, 2018

In reply to by socal

We are in the same situation. Richard C. Lehrman of Bluelight Realty Management Group from NY called us about out timeshare in Cancun. Benjamin Carmona is the escrow officer. They want you to sent money to a lawyer in Mexico and pay taxes. I called the Attorney General Office and they said it is a scam.
Ceaser
July 03, 2019

In reply to by socal

Also Magnum Realty, Bonnie Dai Smith, total scam!, Lost over $10,000 US. Same tactics. Totally believable, got to the point where we would have to go to Mexico City to get anything. Don’t get hooked in. For us expensive lesson learned!!!
RAGS
April 18, 2018
Has anyone dealt with Golden Asia Realty? No money up front. They say I have to purchase a permit from Mexico in order to do business in that country in selling my Timeshare--$6300.00. True?
FTC Staff
April 19, 2018

In reply to by RAGS

If you are selling a timeshare and the company asks for money in advance, that is a sign of a scam, and a signt that you don’t want to do business with the company.

If the company says you must pay $6,300 for a permit, they're saying you must pay money up front.

Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you check out the resale company. 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. Type the company name into your computer with the word "complaints" or "reviews" and see what other people say about this company.

elku
April 18, 2018
Same story about Golden Asia Realty. Very high offer. Cash buyer. Buyer pays all taxes and fees. Money in escrow but need permit from Mexico for $5200 to proceed. They faxed a paper showing taxes were paid. Investigated and could not find any reason to doubt. Then another paper showing the money paid for taxes had be canceled because Mexico insisted that only I could pay taxes. They (Roberts & Manley)are very smooth talkers. Don't believe anything they say, they will tell you exactly what you want to hear. They will fax and phone, but note they will not do anything by US mail! I finally sent certified letters to them at their letter-head address in NY. Guess what! the letters came back to me with a stamp reading,"no such company at this address. No such person. No forwarding address." I was a victim of fraud because I wanted to believe so badly that I would get some big money that I needed. It cost me $5200. Run like fast. State Consumer Protection Agency lawyer confirmed they were a scam that he had seen before and told me what to expect. The fraud unfolded just as he said it would. Expensive lesson. No chance of getting money back. Good luck!
FTC Staff
May 16, 2018

In reply to by elku

You can help law enforcement by reporting this to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

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

Same story-Let…
May 15, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

Bridget Small -I know you have to keep repeating yourself but please continue responding and maybe we can get more people to report these scams. Thank you for saying it over and over it DID make me follow through and file a complaint today.
FTC Staff
May 16, 2018

In reply to by Same story-Let…

That's great - thank you for filing the complaint to support investigations, and thanks for letting me know that my comments are helpful. -- Bridget

NVDave
April 27, 2018

In reply to by elku

they called me as well - Michael Moore and then Lance - $63000 - never pay anything in advance - saying that there is no need in many cases to even pay any taxes, etc - only transfer fees at the timeshare - especially if the time share is not deeded.
Zarri
April 19, 2018
Has anyone closed a deal with Goldenriver investments?
Pam Lars
April 19, 2018
Has anyone had any dealings with Resort Closings, Inc. Bozeman, MT? The are asking for $1,200 up front and then $300 for Diamond Resorts International for a transfer fee.
Atkinsann
April 20, 2018
I also just received offer to sell my timeshare in Cancun! They are calling from Trivago, the travel company. Different names, but probably the same stories. Will now call them out, and Trivago should find out they are being used.
SoCalSurf
April 20, 2018
ELN, You didn't pay a sales tax when bought your timeshare, and you don't have to pay one when you sell. This is the part of the scam where they steal your money. The buyer pays any sales tax, not a seller. Run away as fast as you can.
KATHI
April 21, 2018
Has anyone been contacted by HALICON GROUP? Just like most of what I’ve read, they want to pay more for our weeks with VIDANTA than we paid. My husband would like to keep going just to see if they’re legit; I’m convinced they’re a scam, like all the ones I hang up on( or simply don’t answer calls and block the number). I don’t know just how they get the money, but I know they do, and they’re smarter at this than we are!
Coreybell
April 22, 2018
I am also dealing with NBC and CCW Holdings. They are asking that I pay taxes to Quintana Roo. Don't give them any more of your money.
Corvette70
April 25, 2018
Ditto on Golden Asia Realty Scam. They(Manley & Sullivan) are currently very active. Using a Title Services & Escrow Company called Nations Capital Inc.
ThankfullMN
May 09, 2018

In reply to by Corvette70

Yep, I also got an exceedingly lucrative offer from Golden Asia Realty (100x purchase price)and subsequent escrow statement from Nations Capital Inc. Title Services with an address in Rego Park NY. I was planning to contact Citibanamex who supposedly issued the escrow statement for confirmation that the info it real.
IveBeenScammed
April 26, 2018
Anyone received a call from Magnum Realty Group - Bradley D. Miller, supposedly operating out of Sacremento, CA? Offered us triple what we paid for our timeshare in Play Del Carmen in 2006. Got all the way to signing the deal and then hired our attorney - who have offices in Mexico to look into this. Citibanamex bank statement-supposedly created through a Escrow Company called Capital Transfer Assoc. Services, LP., where the funds were being held to paid us as soon as we closed on the deal. Just smelled funny and never signed the deal. Will be reporting to the FTC. Wanted to warn others here. Sure feel stupid.