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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.

smellarat
January 14, 2018

In reply to by Dianag

110% scam. There are other posts on this site about this scammer company. I have posted two other comments dated beginning of January explaining our experience. I didn’t explain the backlash from them when I reported them to government agencies including FTC AAND BBB. We received a voicemail from the most unprofessional sounding male claiming to be a senior broker and advising they were going to sue us . From the first time listening we knew it was a complete scare tactic attempting to threaten us and stop us from reporting the nature of their business. Thank goodness the FTC AND BBB take these complaints very seriously attempting to protect consumers. They keep changing the number they call from to make it difficult to track them so could you please post the number they called you from so a white pages google search will eventually show they are a high risk as a scam as more and more ppl search the latest number they use.
Bakes
January 23, 2018

In reply to by Dianag

I am working with Silver City as well - Jeremy Kaufmann. Everything seems above board and nothing has been asked for. How do you tell is this is a scam? They have a 866 number and the internet does not seem to differentiate between their email contact@ nysilvercityproperties.com and the email on the website as contact@ silvercityproperties.com (no ny). Any help would be great!!
TStroubleIthink
January 30, 2018

In reply to by Dianag

Did you get any feedback? They offered me the same deal- using a bank and putting money in escrow, but I'm not as far along as you. Sounds too good to be true
Myrnie
February 08, 2018

In reply to by Dianag

So I was wondering what happened with your time share from your offer from silver city. Did u actually see any money. We have received an offer and I’m wondering what to do.
a1bigtuna
January 09, 2018
Has anyone heard of a company named bluelight realty management in New York? How does one check on the validity of a real estate company in NY?
gp
January 23, 2018

In reply to by a1bigtuna

yes, I just received a welcome letter from them. They have clients that will make an offer on my 2 bedroom timeshare in Puerto Vallarta. They told me no up-front fees at all. I wonder ....
elemp
January 29, 2018

In reply to by gp

Not true. They'll call you after everything is set up with the sales agreement and tell you you need to wire $2,200 or so to an account in Mexico for an "SRE Taxpayer Identification Number" I can't confirm if they are a scam yet but I'll bet they'll do the same to you.
PaulaS
January 30, 2018

In reply to by a1bigtuna

I have a letter from them myself. A Brian A Harden. I just got the escrow documents from American Finance SLP asking to open an account with CitiBanamex. In the translation the application asks for almost every item someone would need to steal your identity. It certainly must be a scam. I will write to the Attorney General in NY to see if they have any complaints.
foolmeonce
January 12, 2018
I have been contacted by Elliot Mamiye with Silver City Properties as well.This is prolly the 3rd time a diff company has tried this. No way i would ever go forward ...they all will ask you for "taxes " at the end of their scam or ask you for "closing money " etc. Its a scam
Gary H.
January 13, 2018
I hate to admit it but I was suckered in. They were masterful. I had a Mexican Timeshare with Vidanta Vacations and a "finder" company found me by viewing a Timeshare list in Mexico of out of country timeshare owners. They hooked me up with an ESCROW company supposedly located in Houston, TX. They had a fantastic website and I dealt with several different people in this so-called company. The name of the company was LINCOLN FEDERAL SAVINGS. If I just sent some money via a Wire Transfer they would transfer the proceeds from the sale that day. Well it never happened.
J Sue 1/2018
January 16, 2018
Just happened to find this website. Wish I had found it before. In Dec. 2017 I wired several amounts to "be held in escrow" until the buyer of our timeshare in Mexico reimburses us at closing. The total is around $15,000 and now they say they need almost $5,000 more for lawyers etc. to finalize the sale! My bank questioned this but the companies involved seemed totally legitimate. Anyone know anything about : CROWLEY EVENT MANAGEMENT in Chicago? (contacted us first) Frank Miller referred us on to: INDEPENDENCE FEDERAL TITLE SERVICES in Missouri. There we worked with Michelle Garcia and finally Matthew Ferguson. Ms. Garcia is a very pleasant, well-spoken lady - very likable and believable.
J.W.
September 28, 2018

In reply to by J Sue 1/2018

INDEPENDENCE FEDERAL TITLE SERVICES listed at 100 W. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS is NOT LEGITIMATE. I have confirmed in person at the McCoy Federal Building that this business does not have an office at their location. I contacted the telephone number listed on their website and was hung up on when I identified myself as a law enforcement officer. Please do not send money to anyone affiliated with this scam.
C
January 17, 2018
As soon as they ask for money upfront hang-up. I was just contacted by silvercity and I asked them to send me an email with details and I will look I to it. I no longer bother with long calls. Once I have enough evidence to suggest there are legitimate I will email them back.
TStrouble
January 19, 2018

In reply to by C

I'm currently working with Peter Lane from Silver City and they offered me a live offer, but I haven't signed anything yet. They said once I do they will send me an application from American Finance Co. to set up a trust account so they can wire the money. They said they are one of the few companies that is licensed in both US and Mexico. I've been reading many of the posts, but really haven't heard how the story ends with Silver City Properties. It does sound too good to be true and you know what they say. Have you proceeded to the next step????
Bakes
January 22, 2018

In reply to by TStrouble

Have you heard anything further. You sound like you are at the same spot in the "transaction" as I am.
TStrouble
January 30, 2018

In reply to by Bakes

I haven't moved forward since posting this. I keep getting calls daily from Peter though but haven't answered. Wish it were true, but I doubt it.
smellarat
February 05, 2018

In reply to by Bakes

TURN!! AROUND AND RUN THEN READ OTHER COMMENTS
ehoaglin
January 23, 2018

In reply to by TStrouble

I am also "working" with Peter Lane, I haven't done anything yet, because my husband worked with another company last year, and then they asked for money, and we cancelled the deal. I am curious about this company as well. I have made it clear to him that we will not be sending any money. Interested to hear your experience.
smellarat
February 05, 2018

In reply to by TStrouble

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME, ITS ALL A SCAM. READ THROUGH SOME OF THE COMMENTS AND ITLL SAVE YOU A LOT OF TIME AND AGGRAVATION. WE ALMOST GOT TAKEN BUT GOT BAD FEELING BEFORE WE SIGNED OR SENT ANYTHING. I SPENT MANY HOURS RESEARCHING THEIR COMPANY (SEE SOME OF MY OTHER COMMENTS TO EXPLAIN). I CONTACTED EVERY GOVERNMENT AGENCY ABOUT THE ESCROW COMPANY AND IT DOESNT EXIST. ADDRESSES ARE WRONG. GOOD LUCK AND RUN!!
outlander
January 23, 2018

Has anyone heard of Paramount Networking Solutions? If so, are they a scam? Are there any reliable companies?

FTC Staff
January 23, 2018

In reply to by outlander

Did you check this company with any government agencies? If a company calls you and offers to sell your timeshare, be careful.

Read the FTC tips about selling a timeshare. Here's the first tip:

elemp
January 21, 2018
Started the whole process with Bluelight Realty and American Finance and signed a contract but didn't wire the money. Bluelight Realty said if we "move to cancel" then we still have to pay the escrow agent fee. If it's a scam is the contract still legitimate and we'd have to pay the agent escrow fee?
FTC Staff
February 08, 2018

In reply to by elemp

The FTC article about timeshares and vacation plans has information about selling a timeshare through a reseller. You can read your contract now and see if it states:

  • the services the reseller will perform
  • the fees, commissions, and other costs you must pay and when
  • whether you can rent or sell the timeshare on your own at the same time the reseller is trying to sell your unit
  • the length or term of the contract to sell your timeshare
  • and who is responsible for documenting and closing the sale

You could ask a lawyer or real estate professional to to review your contract and explain your obligations. 

cperkins
January 22, 2018
I want to know about the answers to the Silver City questions. I am waiting to finalize the paperwork and will not do until I see what the result of these enquiries are. Are they legit or not?
Kodyman
January 23, 2018

In reply to by cperkins

I would like to know as well, dealing wit a Max Polsky. I am skeptical website suspicious when you search on Max nothing comes up. he answers email and phone calls. tried contacting and emailing attorney generals office. I keep getting transferered email sent in they didn't get. Government office nightmare. Sure would like help if any one finds something out. Thanks
Bakeaway
February 05, 2018

In reply to by cperkins

I am also dealing with Silver City Properties. Is this a scam? It definitely sounds too good to be true, please help if you have any advice. Thank you Bakeaway

Travel Mexico
January 22, 2018
Does anyone have experience with International Sales Group NY LLC? I was contacted by them with the promise of several hundred thousand dollars for the sale of my Mexico timeshare. No money up front, but it seems really suspect.
Mike B
January 31, 2018

In reply to by Travel Mexico

I have the same question. Any information would be helpful.
cperkins
January 23, 2018
I would really like an answer to the silver City? Can anyone help me out by letting me know about them?
FTC Staff
January 23, 2018

In reply to by cperkins

Did you check this company with any government agencies? If a company calls you and offers to sell your timeshare, be careful.

Read the FTC tips about selling a timeshare. Here's the first tip:

Spicer2016
January 30, 2018

In reply to by cperkins

I would like to know about Silver City Property as well. They are wanting to purchase our vacation club membership through Unlimited Vacation AMResorts
YZ
January 24, 2018
Has anyone heard of Golden Asia Realty? Exactly the same. Contacted us to buy our timeshare at Mayan Palace for much more than we paid for. Then they do the transaction through an escrow account managed by Nations Capital Inc title services, also based in NY. Then they sent you the Banamex account form. I fairly certain is a scam but wanted to confirm. The guy I spoke to today gave me his real state license. The Golden asia company can also be found on the official government website for NY real state licenses. Very sketchy but wanted to hear other opinions if any. Oh and the usual 9% commision and no "upfront cost". I'm yet to find one person that actually got the money that was promised...
biofoolish
January 26, 2018

In reply to by YZ

YZ. We got a valid real estate license # also but I tracked down the office that person works out of and spoke to the broker he says he is not involved in this transaction and is reporting it to his licensing board.
Ellie
May 17, 2018

In reply to by YZ

Golden Asia has set up an account with Citibanamex via Nations Capital, I have not seen the sales agreement yet, but I have been skeptical all the way. They are asking me to get a permit to sell form the Mexican consulate nearby...does this sound familiar or weird?
danno
January 26, 2018
Has anyone dealt with Travel Plus Acquisition (out of salt lake city) and/or The Closing Source, an Idaho LLC as escrow company regarding resale of Mexican timeshares? Their standard contract requires Buyer to pay all fees and taxes but I don't know if they are legitimate. If any one has closed a transaction with them, please let me know.
FTC Staff
January 26, 2018

In reply to by danno

Did you check this company with any government agencies? If a company calls you and offers to sell your timeshare, be careful.

Read the FTC tips about selling a timeshare. Here's the first tip:

Barnard
February 01, 2018

In reply to by danno

I have been contacted by both of the above firms. The property is in Mexico and I have now been requested to send $3700 to them to pay for a ‘business licence’ that the Mexican government now requires (as of Jan 1st, 2018), in order to proceed with the sale. This is to be pre-paid and will be refunded once the sale completes. I have not done this. I am trying to find out more information about both companies and fee before proceeding further. Have you received a similar request?
YZ
February 07, 2018

In reply to by Barnard

I did not do anything and they called me again last week to check on the status. I told them that I was not going to pay anything upfront and he told me the same thing. Basically that because I'm not mexican I needed to buy a license to be able to sell it. That he estimated it would be between 3000 and 5000. I said no thanks and that I wanted copies of their real state licenses. Have not heard back. I noticed that they did additional work on the website probably after I told them that I looked too fake
partsguy
April 05, 2018

In reply to by danno

I have a contract5 right now from them wanting to rent my timeshare for Las Vegas to a company in Mexico. They have not asked for any money upfront and they said they would not. I am hesitant to sign the contract they provided until I can get something positive about them.
Jennifer
January 26, 2018
Has anyone dealt with Golden Asia Realty in New York. They are offering $86,700 for a Mayan resort, have valid license numbers as brokers and have sent by email an Offer to Purchase. They claim the buyer is a billion dollar company that needs tax writeoffs in case NAFTA disappears. I would appreciate any warnings before going ahead with this Purchase offer.
Don't use your…
January 30, 2018

In reply to by Jennifer

We got the same request recently but from a International Sales Group in New York LLC, offering 40,000.00 for our time share in Mexico. They also said something about NAFTA and a tax write off. We are also thinking it is a scam but what if it isn't? Anne

Victim
February 04, 2018

In reply to by Don't use your…

It is a scam. I am a victim of this Mexico timeshare resale scam and lost over $100k to International Sales Group New York and the partner escrow company Emerald Property Groups Inc. Please dont be another victim of this company.
FTC Staff
February 05, 2018

In reply to by Victim

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 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.

dupetoo
February 13, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

Bridget... I filed a complaint with the FTC, BBB, FBI and the bank that I wired over $11K to Gold Coast Real Estate last year. I got responses back telling me there is nothing they can do for me. I am glad to hear that the FTC is filing these complaints, but what else are they doing to assist people who have been duped?
FTC Staff
February 16, 2018

In reply to by dupetoo

The information you reported to the FTC was added to a secure database that law enforcement agencies nationwide can search and use for investigations. You can also report to your state Attorney General, and the wire transfer company you used to send the money.

MikeD
January 29, 2018

In reply to by Jennifer

I have also been contacted by them, offering me just about what I paid for it. Very hard to find ANY information online...