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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.

Susan
February 02, 2018

In reply to by Jennifer

Are the brokers licensed individually to their home address or to the company they're working for? I spoke to someone from the NY DOS and they commented that the brokers should be licensed to practice under the organization they work for.
Di
April 05, 2018

In reply to by Jennifer

I have received an offer also from Golden Asia Realty, they claim that there is alot of scams out there and gave me all the license numbers to verify them. Has anyone worked with them?
Jennifer
January 26, 2018
Hello YX Thankyou for your comment. I do not know how they obtain those registered broker numbers and use the name of a valid company and get away wih that. Do you actually know of anyone who went through with the deal with Golden Asia and the Grand Mayan and got scammed by not receiving any amount or far less than the promised amount and who had to pay any other fees to get nothing or a small amount on disbursement. They say you are not committed to anything by signing the Purchase Order and sending the front page of your contract but is this really so. They say send the information at your convenience trying to appear not pushy or is this just another tactic to gain confidence.
LLG
January 29, 2018
We have also been contacted by Golden Asia Realty, as well as International Sales Group NY. Ryan Manly at Golden Asia is who I have been speaking with; no upfront fees, 9% commission at closing, and offer of much more than we paid. Just today was contacted by John Moore of ISG NY; no details from him yet.
PaulaS
January 30, 2018
I have an offer Brian A Harden from Blue Light Realty Management Group to purchase my Grand Luxxe property. The escrow company is American Finance SLP, LLC with the escrow officer being Ben Carmona. Any one have contact with them or their company? Both are licensed in NY.
A Friend
January 31, 2018

In reply to by PaulaS

Paula, American Finance says that they are "licensed by the Division of Licensing Services". I suggest that you call the DLS. You might learn something useful.
Susan
January 30, 2018
Network Brokerage Corp has been contacting me. Their address does not match the address with the NY Dept of State. The Sr Broker is listed is not associated with the business, instead he's listed as an individual broker. Also got an estimate from a company called Asia Realty just before hearing from Network Brokerage Corp. Asia Realty coincidentally uses a very similar document header as Network Brokerage Corp. Asia Realty is not listed with the NY Department of State. The holding company used for escrow in Mexico City is listed as an alias for Network Brokerage Corp in the BBB listing. Too many odd things going on here.
cmax
January 31, 2018
Has anyone seen one of these deals to closing? Max Polsky and Silver City in particular. would like to know if it's a scam -- or if they really close. No money has changed hands.
FTC Staff
January 31, 2018

In reply to by cmax

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:

Hutch
March 08, 2018

In reply to by cmax

I was just contacted by Max Polsky of Silver City Properties. He stated my original Broker Peter Lane(the one who contacted me and explained the "deal" was on another project now and wanted to know if Peter informed me about a fee to register a temporary residency in Mexxico. it will cost $4872. He told me I had to set it up in mexico or through an international lawyer or they could suggest ones for me. I have asked to have docs mailed to me have not gotten them yet. Smells like a big pile of BS! Does any one have any more info?
LLG
January 31, 2018
Received by e-mail a contract from Golden Asia Realty and have 15 days to send it back. I read the whole thing and it 'looks' legitimate. Also contacted again by International Sales Group. I asked why so many people are suddenly so anxious to buy our timeshare, and he said that it's the end of the tax year and companies need to invest the money (or something to that effect). I want to believe this is for real, but this site doesn't make me very hopeful.
Ellie
May 17, 2018

In reply to by LLG

I am interested what happened as I am in the same position as you, did you go through with the offer successfully? I t all seems good to me, but this website is making me wonder..
mars
February 01, 2018
I also have been contacted by Silver City. They just sent the do call contract. To my surprise it’s asking the seller to had over a POA to silver City for use of the timeshare. Ours is also in Mexico. Let me know if any one has closed. They are asking for 6% plus it says we pay them even if it doesn’t close.
mars
February 01, 2018
I too have been contacted by Don Campbell of Silver City again No money upfront, 6% commission. Set up trust acct with First American Ben Carmona. Looked at the contract they want you to give them Power if Attorney to use the timeshare. Gave a ridiculous amount for the appraisal. Very interesting reading these posts. I have some pretty interesting questions for this guy when I talk to him. Needless to say will not be signing anything
Pmcc1
February 02, 2018

In reply to by mars

I have been dealing with the same comas well sq Don and Ben. They quite persistent in keeping me in the loop. They explain the documents clearly BUT now I have to pay approx. $4700 for the lawyer in Mexico to pay for the costs to 5ransfer title in Mexico. All this for my Villa Del Arco Timeshare group. Am trying to find definitive on these companies??
FTC Staff
February 05, 2018

In reply to by Pmcc1

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:

midget
February 14, 2018

In reply to by Pmcc1

I am working with the same company and they have now asked me to wire them money for the Mexican government to be able to sale my property. Have you had this yet?
midget
February 14, 2018

In reply to by Pmcc1

Silver Properties is listed under BBB Scam Tracker. This is a scam.
Not on my watch
February 02, 2018

In reply to by mars

I have been working with Jesse Conde also with Silver City Same no up front fee but 6% commission. Also working with Ben Carmona. Husband is DetectiveSo doing some Investigating also.. No fees up front , Ben Carmona sent the application in Spanish. I told them I would absolutely not fill it out unless in english so I know exactly what I am signing. Been hesitant but Jesse has given me all the right answers. Checked attorney general, federal trade commission, and consumer financial protection bureau.
O-Dogg
February 08, 2018

In reply to by Not on my watch

I have been working with Nicole at Silver City and gotten to the point of the Citibanamex application from Ben Carmona at America Finance. Their website looks legit: silvercitypropertiesny. com/ index. but not sure if to proceed since there is no upfront money (yet). Has anyone completed the application and received the sales agreement? They haven't been hiding that I should use an attorney so unless the bank is a fraud (i.e. can't access my money) then I haven't signed anything over? thoughts?
SaulR
February 09, 2018

In reply to by O-Dogg

So did you find out? They contacted me too with no upfront fees then all of a sudden I need 3200 for tax I'd from Mexico. Sounds like scam.
Samani
February 11, 2018

In reply to by O-Dogg

I was contacted by Silver City and I'm now at the same point as O-Dogg. I've received the application from Ben Carmona. I, too, am apprehensive about going ahead. I was told that any fees/taxes would be paid by the buyer so there wasn't a request to pay any Mexico taxes. I was also advised to open a separate account to receive the wired funds. That way I wouldn't have to disclose any current account information. On Monday I'm going to ask Silver City to provide some names of sellers who have closed on the sale. All the comments I've read are from people who are in the process. I have used the timeshare each year mostly going to Mexico, but also other worldwide destinations. My husband and I have enjoyed our experiences. I wasn't planning to sell until this opportunity (?) came about. As the saying goes, "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!" I'd love to hear from someone who has had a closing and received the funds.
The Calgary Phoenix
February 13, 2018

In reply to by Samani

I'm working with Nicole and Ben as well. I had a friend from Cancun translate the Spanish version to what the English instructions state it asks for, and from that perspective, it's good. I now await the contract, which will be reviewed with a fine tooth comb to ensure there are no hidden fees, etc. They offered basically what we paid for the membership, so that doesn't fit the standard "pie in the sky" offer one hears about. Now that Ben has send a confirmation of the escrow set-up, I'm going to run off a copy and discuss with my bank.
midget
February 14, 2018

In reply to by The Calgary Phoenix

I have a gut feeling this is not legit. Have they asked you for the $3,200? It looks like American finance SLP is a very new company and there are not ratings on it yet.
smellarat
February 16, 2018

In reply to by Samani

You won’t hear from anyone who,got their money cus it’s all a scam. Your money will go into an escrow account of a company not registered. Turn around and run then read the pages of other people’s experiences. Luckily I did lots of homework after getting application in Spanish and started checking them out with government agencies.
Anxious
February 01, 2018
Has anyone been approached by Golden Asia Realty in NY to resell a timeshare. They offer a price of $68,700 with only a 9% commission to be taken off when the sale goes through. They are the realtors for Sika a billion dollar company who wants the money for a tax writeoff. The money is kept in trust by Citibanamex bank in Mexico and forwarded when the sale closes. They say no upfront fees are required and no other costs to the seller. Is this too good to be true?
Inspector Clousea
February 10, 2018

In reply to by Anxious

I hope you get the Pink panther reference. I had hoped not to bring my info regarding Golden Asia to the internet as of yet because I wanted to try to turn the table on them before letting them know that I am on to them This is what I have found out about them. But first My story is much like the other listed. They are offering me 10x what I paid. they get a 9% comish. The buyer is a wealthy Texan, They work with Nations Capitol who creats an Escrow account in Citibanamex. They have a Mexican Law firm handeling the deal. All the paperwork looks legit. Do not wire them money. They will ask you to send them money per your time share contract stating that you must pay a transfer fee. They know this because the scammers have somehow gotten your info out of the timeshare record office. inside Job. So what Have I found out. They set up the Golden Asia Realty Co thru Godaddy.com. If you search whoisGodaddy.com, enter goldenasiarealty.com and you will see that the web site was generated in Mexico City. Owner name, Address and phone number are listed. I have not tried to call the number yet. I tried to call security within the building at the address to GARealty. They are not allowed to give out the names of tenants. From Google Earth Street View I can see that there is a FedEx office on the first floor. I called them, They have not heard that name in their building. Supposedly GAR is on the 18 floor. The contact that I have been talking with will not provide me with a license number even though he said he would twice, A picture of him standing out in front of his office, The listing of the brokers listing for NY with his name on it. I cannot believe he is still calling me. He must realise that I am on to him. If he reads this he will figure it out or try to prove they are legit. I have more work to do. will check out Nations Capitol to see if they are working with GAR. As I mentioned, I did not want to tip my hand to GAR so I wasn't going to write this as I guess they may watch this site. But I didn't want anyone falling for what I am 95 % sure is a scam. A lot of things will need to get cleared up before I am convinced. Did I mention that he said I should get an international Lawyer so we could proceed with the deal. What scammer does that. This is either the real deal or it is a highly orchestrated scam. Update to follow.
Missouri "Show me"
February 13, 2018

In reply to by Inspector Clousea

We have also been in communication with Golden Asia. I have called the NY Licensing Bureau and tried to verify the license numbers given me. As you say - so far they have not requested any $$. We received the emailed copy of the contract today - have 15 days to sign if we are going to proceed. There is a $4,800 fee that shows up but doesn't say who pays or when. We have called once and the phones were down for GAR and Nation's Capital Title but they were back up the next day. Everytime I say "this sounds like a scam, I'm out" they come back with a new person and license # to show they are legit. I was also told to hire a lawyer, and may do that. I have googled Golden Asia, checked the website for fraud in NY and not really found anything except this site. I think I'll request a hard copy of the contract - see if they are willing to use the US mail. This is crazy - it's so hard to figure out what they are after - I'm thinking identity theft but they haven't requested SS or banking #s. Is it possible to set up a "trust" in Mexico just with your name and address? We did receive "verification" of funds from Citibanamex but when I called from a number off their website their computers were "updating" and the gentleman could not confirm the account. I'll check out the Godaddy site. Thanks. PLEASE let us know if you learn anything else.
Hayward
February 14, 2018

In reply to by Inspector Clousea

Same story almost word for word.... BUT then Opps you need an RFC from Mexico ...$5200.00 US. Have tried a bunch of research but can find nothing substantial. Waiting on response from NY Attorney Generals office but not sure that they will even respond. Tough to do this type of follow up from Canada. Offer was unsolicitated so not sure how they got my name, but same story, offering over a quarter million for a VIDA timeshare.
LLG
March 08, 2018

In reply to by Anxious

It absolutely IS too good to be true. We talked with Golden Asia for a few months and were told over and over no upfront costs. Then, voila! They wanted $5,200 for a Mexican tax number. I told them NO.
Carolina
February 02, 2018
has anyone heard about Kevin Daniels with R5 Realty? they are offering to buy our Mexico timeshare. they are out of Albuquerque New Mexico.
LLBell
February 07, 2018

In reply to by Carolina

We are dealing with the same company who offered to purchase our timeshare from Cancun. We are very leery because it sounds too good to to be true. They are not asking for any money yet, and said they are just waiting on title and deed docs and will set up an escrow account to deposit their funds to be paid to us in. If anyone else has heard of R5 reality, please share your experience with us.
Dan S
February 08, 2018

In reply to by LLBell

I received a call from the same person, they asked how much I'd be willing to sell my time share for. I said 20,000 they came back with an offer of 37,950, they said that they would set up an escrow account and said when the check clears to send them 6% back. Why should I pay them 6% the buyer should pay. I think this is a scam.
Alberta
February 08, 2018

In reply to by Carolina

I was also contacted by R5 (William Sanderson). He has told me over the phone that they have people interested in purchasing several units at our resort. Today he sent me an acceptance letter. I am very hesitant to sign anything. Does anyone have an update on this company? I would really appreciate some feed back.
Jon
February 09, 2018

In reply to by Carolina

Do u have thei website information. I too was called by this company. ?? Not sure if it is a scam
Anxious
February 06, 2018

Who has heard from Golden Asia Realty who deals with Nations Capital Inc.com in charge of funds through Citibanamex in Mexico. They offer a very high price for the Mayan timeshare and have a buyer billionaire company Sika who wishes to use the money for tax writeoff in case Nafta disappears. They claim to have valid licenses which in fact do appear in eAccessNY and when you check Golden Asia Realty on Google the telephone numbers they call from and put on their emails are the same. How can they appear this authentic if they are not?

YZ
February 07, 2018

In reply to by Anxious

I have (see above). The main issue might not even be this real state agency as fake as it sounds, the bigger problem might be the trust fund and how you need to pay the upfront fees to be able to sell them...
Hayward
February 15, 2018

In reply to by Anxious

Also got a ridiculous offer from Golden Asia, over a quarter million for a Vida Mayan timeshare that I have that they claim SIKA AG wants to buy. Starts off " no money upfront which we made clear when they first called. Everything was fine up until a few days before closing and then they required $5200.00 US for Mexicam RFC permit. Suspected a scam all along but played along. They have all the answers, web sites, emails etc etc. Dealing with a Robert T Edwards who is listed with eACCESSNY. We are Canadian so $5200. US is close to $9000.00 C$. Have written the Attorney General of New York and am awaiting a reply. Have also contacted Commerce Dept and they have no info but have suggested it is a scam. Also have put a call in to SIKA but just got voicemail but will try again tomorrow. Contracts have no witnesses to signatures so are invalid as real estate contracts. We previously got hooked in a same scam with a McGinnis Marketing out of Colorado for $5000.00 so recognize the scam. Have also left an email through NY FBI office and since money is crossing international borders there are a variety of laws involved including money laundering etc. Same scam under a variety of company names and escrow agencies. Golden Asian is very smooth, well laid out and very convincing. They want money I told them to take it out of the escrow account, but they claim that it must be paid by the seller personally according to Mexican law. Well a retired lawyer in Mexico City who is the aunt of a friend here from Mexico says it is all BS. They will never be able to substantiate their promises.
Don't Deaconus…
February 04, 2018
I was contacted by phone by Golden Asia Realty, followed a week later with an email and purchase offer of $195,000 for a Grand Luxxe Unit. I am very skeptical about any of these companies, including those that deal with the equity trade ins. If anyone has a positive experience with any of them, I’d appreciate knowing. Otherwise, I’ve always said if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is a scam.
PalmarSkeptic
February 05, 2018

This is just unbelievable. I have not looked at all the pages of comments (so many!) but I was contacted 2 days in a row (last week) by R-5 Realty in New Mexico, asking if I am interested in selling my timeshare in Cancun. Isn't it odd that, at least with this first page, all the requests are to buy in Mexico? What's the deal with Mexico? I love my time share but would gladly sell for the price I paid - which was offered, but the more I read and the more I think about it, it just sounds too damn good to be true. They never mentioned on the phone any fees I would have to pay but I am awaiting an email. I have not done any investigative work on R-5 but I will do so now. Has anyone had a call from them? I was very close to being scammed a few years ago (Craig's List) so I am very, very cautious now.

marjetz
February 07, 2018

In reply to by PalmarSkeptic

I received The same email from R-5 Realty. I received an email with an offer that was half again what I paid for it. Of course I am interested in selling it for this price but I too am skeptical. I ask why someone would want to buy this timeshare and was told by the agent that his client was trying to get majority shares in the company and he had to go outside to buy that much. Apparently he’s only allowed to buy 25% of ownership through the normal channels. In some ways this makes sense because I know there was a split between the owners about year and a half ago but I am still somewhat skeptical. I’m probably going to sign and send in the acceptance letter just to see what happens but there’s no way that I’ll give them any money. I would be interested to see what they told you as to the reason someone wants to buy your shares.
kitten777
February 07, 2018

In reply to by marjetz

I received a letter of intend from R-5 Realty for twice what we paid for our condo, same owner wanted to buy up 25% of the complex, then a title company 'Escrow Management, Inc. sent me an email to fill out further info., which I have not done because I can't seem to find anything about them. Did you find any further info.
Cathy_
February 15, 2018

In reply to by kitten777

his is a scam - Please call the Real Estate Commission (505) 222-9820 and ask for lead investigator Lyn Carter or his assistant Jill. The IP address was traced to Australia and Taiwan. Here is how I was contacted: I was called and informed by Anthony J Sena who identified himself as an agent at R-5 Realty. He explained that a partner of Villa del Palmar is trying to buy back the timeshares to get a controlling interest. They offered me 2x what I paid. I was sent an Acceptance Letter to review an sign (not a binding contract) and then send back with the cover letter of my original purchase of the timeshare. A contract would be drawn up and the Escrow company (in this case Escrow Management Inc from Colorado) would set up an escrow account in my name only and the funds would be deposited into said account. Once I see the funds in the account, I would sign over my interest in the timeshare to R-5 and I could withdraw the money in the escrow account. Within 15 days of me signing the deed over, I was to send a payment equaling 6% of the agreed amount to the broker agent as his commission. All closing costs were to be paid by the purchaser, along with applicable international taxes. I could not find any information online about the agent who called me. A friend told me to call a real estate attorney for advice. I spoke with one from Albuquerque and when I told her the address of the business, she said that she was familiar with that building - that it has some businesses in the lobby and condos up top "...but it's strange that the website and letterhead does not show a suite number. You would think any business would want mail to go to it." I then called a real estate agent from Albuquerque and she was able to find a real estate broker listed as Anthony John Sena, working for Tierra Investments, Licence #06087. The real estate agent then advised me to call the Real Estate Commission.
Maslo1
February 07, 2018

In reply to by marjetz

I’ve been talking to a Rachel there at R-5. She basically told me the exact same thing and I sent back that the letter of interest. She said I’ll be hearing from a title company in regards to the next steps and that an escrow account will be set up with the funds. She said they don’t take their commission until after the deal when she was 6% of the sale price. I agree it sounds too good to be true. I haven’t given them any bank information for Social Security numbers or anything along those lines. I agree that it doesn’t make sense that someone would want to buy these when they can just go out and purchase on their own.....
Cathy_McWilliams
February 15, 2018

In reply to by Maslo1

his is a scam - Please call the Real Estate Commission (505) 222-9820 and ask for lead investigator Lyn Carter or his assistant Jill. The IP address was traced to Australia and Taiwan. Here is how I was contacted: I was called and informed by Anthony J Sena who identified himself as an agent at R-5 Realty. He explained that a partner of Villa del Palmar is trying to buy back the timeshares to get a controlling interest. They offered me 2x what I paid. I was sent an Acceptance Letter to review an sign (not a binding contract) and then send back with the cover letter of my original purchase of the timeshare. A contract would be drawn up and the Escrow company (in this case Escrow Management Inc from Colorado) would set up an escrow account in my name only and the funds would be deposited into said account. Once I see the funds in the account, I would sign over my interest in the timeshare to R-5 and I could withdraw the money in the escrow account. Within 15 days of me signing the deed over, I was to send a payment equaling 6% of the agreed amount to the broker agent as his commission. All closing costs were to be paid by the purchaser, along with applicable international taxes. I could not find any information online about the agent who called me. A friend told me to call a real estate attorney for advice. I spoke with one from Albuquerque and when I told her the address of the business, she said that she was familiar with that building - that it has some businesses in the lobby and condos up top "...but it's strange that the website and letterhead does not show a suite number. You would think any business would want mail to go to it." I then called a real estate agent from Albuquerque and she was able to find a real estate broker listed as Anthony John Sena, working for Tierra Investments, Licence #06087. The real estate agent then advised me to call the Real Estate Commission.
robinm
February 18, 2018

In reply to by PalmarSkeptic

Yes I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by R-5 to sell my timeshare at VilladelPalmar in Mexico. Then I received an "offer" for almost double what I paid for it 7-8 years ago. No fees have been mentioned to me and I did not sign anything but can anyone help? I've googled the company and do not see anything at all.
Anxious
February 04, 2018
Has anyone heard from Golden Asia Realty? They offer to resell your time share for an unbelievable price to be used for tax writeoff.