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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.

2smart2scam
February 07, 2018

In reply to by Anxious

Yes, they have been constantly calling me and my wife offering to buy our Mexico timeshare for 6x's what we paid, after their 9% commission. so annoying.

Don't Deaconus…
February 14, 2018

In reply to by Anxious

Yes, a second call today. I am going to tell them to stuff it.
dcpa
February 05, 2018
Does anyone heard of International Commodity Consultants?...They have two offices located in Orlando,FL and Santa Rosa, CA. They are purchasing our timeshare in Mexico with no upfront fees. I checked them at BBB but they are not rated and also don't have any complains. We will check with the Attorney General. This International Commodity Consultants are very persistent and been call alot.
River
February 13, 2018

In reply to by dcpa

They have also contacted me. They had all my information. Yes very persistent. How did you make out on this purchase? Are they legit?
njames
February 06, 2018
Evergreen Equity Investments - waiting for a call back - San Diego office - legit?
jppatches
February 07, 2018
has anyone heard of NBR real estate. They work with CCW Holdings, a title company.They are offering big bucks coming from chinese investors and work through "lawyers" in Mexico.
FTC Staff
February 07, 2018

In reply to by jppatches

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:

Francesca
April 16, 2018

In reply to by jppatches

Yes, I have heard of Network Brokerage Corporation (NBC). Don't get involve with this company, because we are presently being fooled and scammed by NBC. We had paid so much money for Mexican taxes, bond for the Bank and other expenses. We don't even know if we can recover our money.
rgaray
May 03, 2018

In reply to by Francesca

Thanks for your comment. I had this amazing offer from them (Network Brokerage Corporation - Susan Leon, Michael Hernandez) and after my research I realized it is all a scam.
lynne
May 29, 2018

In reply to by Francesca

We just lost $25,000 dealing with Network! Run! They are really smooth!
Lunjac8989
February 08, 2018
I was. Contacted by worldwide travel events. The first offer was for $240,900. Plus I world have to pay 5% fee. I told them NO DEAL. And I would never pay a fee because they were looking for me, I wasn't looking for them. A week later they sent me another contract for $260,000. I haven't been asked to pay anything up front. Yet! What do I do???
Lito
April 16, 2018

In reply to by Lunjac8989

Don't!!! Worldwide Travel Events and NBC are sister companies, and I got suckered in. I am filing a complaint against NBC. I stand to lose 75K... my money is still in escrow and it's got to go to probate court in Mexico...
Francesca
April 16, 2018

In reply to by Lunjac8989

I believe the owner of Worldwide Travel is connected with Network Brokerage Corporation in New York. I highly suggest not to get involve with this company. Oh yeah, once you're in the contract, that's when they come up with new procedure/policy that just came about that you have to put up some money.
HANKJDon't use…
February 08, 2018
We were contacted by Jean Barber of Silver Cities in early January for our property in Cabo. We also were assigned Benjamin Carcoma of American Finance. All was going well until we had to send $3708.00 in a wire transfer to an attorney in Mexico. The explanation was something about NAFTA. We will not send our money and we are on hold for now. Waiting to find out if anyone has had their sale finalized to their satisfaction,
FTC Staff
February 08, 2018

In reply to by HANKJDon't use…

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:

Heddy
February 15, 2018

In reply to by HANKJDon't use…

Was your timeshare a Fiesta Americana? We've been approached by BlueLight Realty in New York regarding ours. We appear to be at the same stage as you are. "Sudden" costs are roughly $5000.00 CAN. We are "holding".
Hal2000
February 21, 2018

In reply to by Heddy

I was contacted by BLUELIGHT REALTY MANAGEMENT GROUP LLC to purchase our unit. I reached out to BBB and there is no info on this group. Did find a New York business license on file for BLUELIGHT REALTY MANAGEMENT GROUP LLC (a chinese name broker). I also sent an email to the New York State attorney generals office to see if they have any complaints on them. Deal seems to good to be true.
jppatches
February 08, 2018
Anyone heard of or dealt with NBC(network brokerage corporation) real estate. They say they have chinese investors wanting to buy timeshares in Mexico because they are ramping up gold mining in Mexico and want places for executives etc. to enjoy while in Mexico.? They are based in New York City.
Jmackay
February 13, 2018

In reply to by jppatches

I was contacted by NBC Real Estate, New York. They made an offer for all three of our Timeshares in Mexico. The Escrow Company there working with is CCW Holdings,NY.The Mex Bank involved is Citianmex. They said no upfront money. I signed letter of intent. Has anyone delt with them, and had success .
Greig
February 20, 2018

In reply to by Jmackay

We have also been contacted by Sarah steiner of NBC corporation about a studio resale in Cancun. No background information on the escrow company citibanamex. Nothing shows up on the net.
Francesca
April 16, 2018

In reply to by Greig

The escrow company that NBC uses is CCW Holdings in New York and the corresponding bank is Citibanamex in Mexico. Please don't get involved with NBC, they will really get as much money as they can. They did it to us, we're really such a fool to believe them. We are still working on how to get our money back from NBC corporation.
riggerman84
February 21, 2018

In reply to by Jmackay

I was also contacted by NBC Real Estate. They made an offer to rent my timeshare. $36.000 for 10 weeks. I haven't replied to them. I was also contacted by Silver City properties who also use American Finance SLP to set up an escrow account. Unfortunately I have wired money to a Mexican escrow account for taxes and a Physical tax ID number and Certificate of Naturalization. All documents looked authentic but now do more searching I am finding out this is probably a scam. Has anyone else heard or dealt with Silvercity properties. Your help would be appreciated
FTC Staff
February 21, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

You can help law enforcement by reporting this to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you provide will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement databases.

warytimeshareowner
February 22, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

I'm going through the the same info as you right now with Silver City Properties and American Finance SLP. They said no money up front, now throwing in the $x,xxx amount for cert of naturalization... Would like feedback from others that have experience as well.
riggerman84
February 23, 2018

In reply to by warytimeshareowner

Yes, that is where it starts. Next they will want more money wired for a sales tax that now is being collected in Cancun, so they say.All the extras that they ask you to wire, they say will be paid back to you by the buyer. They send you a new sales agreement with the amounts added. It is being held in an escrow account at Ctibanamex. All there Mexican documents then send you look pretty authentic. They keep in contact with you very regularly. It wasn't till they asked now for another fee, registering the timeshare which they said it was a new thing, again showing official documents. That is when I started checking more things and found this site. I am from Canada so I will give all my information to a consumer affairs.
Skeptic
February 23, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

I’m at the same stage with Silver City and American Finance. Paid first installment and now they want thousands more for Mexican State tax, claiming Ill be reimbursed at closing. I’m not paying any more, so they said they’ll be getting back to me.....
HogRider
February 26, 2018

In reply to by warytimeshareowner

I too have been contacted by Silver City Properties (Jean Barber) originally, I was very sceptical (why are you calling me, surely you can buy your own directly was my thought.) I was told no upfront fees, or cost to me. And then proceed and receive the escrow docs, the Citibanamex statement etc. Everything is looking good, and I am starting to feel comfortable. In my mind, I'm thinking the most important piece is the Escrow company. Realtors like car dealers lie. It's the nature of the beast. But Escrow companies are supposed to be the truth tellers. So, I focused my background check on them. American Financial SLP. I checked with the NY AG office and there were no bad reports, they were considered a company in good standing. I checked the BBB on both companies and found nothing bad. Then I spoke with the Senior Realtor (broker) Michael Furlano - and he tells me I need to by Temporary Naturalization $3150, and Tax ID Number $575. So here it begins, the scheme the scam, here is how I lose on this deal. I put the brakes on and widened my background check - I found this site, I found tripadvisors, and I found that the BBB site has updated their information to ALERT: Better Business Bureau conducted an investigation into this business with the following questions: licensing and bonding, where it does business, a list of all physical and remote locations, the company’s EIN and affiliations with other businesses. The company did not respond to BBB. Mail sent to 347 E Main St., Ste 301, Rochester, NY 14604 was returned to our office undeliverable as addressed. Emails to the business remain unanswered.
I caught you
February 23, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

Hay ! The same thing happen to me ! Silver City Properties and American Fiance are SCAMMERS !I called them and asked them for identification, broker licence number ETC. They have not called me back ! I turned it over to the inspectors generals office !
Hutch
February 23, 2018

In reply to by riggerman84

Hello I have been contacted by Silver City properties Peter Lane who also use American Finance SLP to set up an escrow account. All documents looked authentic but on more searching I found American Finance SLP is not at the address 80 State St Albany, NY 12207 Phone number (518) 462-5626 this is the phone # at the address not American Finance SLP. They kep telling there is no money up front Mexico will transfer to American Finance SLP the escrow agent in Albany.
Eln
February 23, 2018

In reply to by Jmackay

Yes, they sent me application to open a trust account. Hope this is not fraud.
reindeer
April 14, 2018

In reply to by Jmackay

What happened when dealing with these companies. I am dealing with them now.
Francesca
April 16, 2018

In reply to by Jmackay

Yes we were contacted by NBC Real Estate in NY. We were offered for our two Timeshares in Mexico as well.They offered a price that you cannot turn down and said that no money coming out of our pockets. Please don't get engage with these two companies because we have shed out much money for taxes, CitiBanamex bond and other miscellaneous expenses and now the buyer backed out of the deal and we had to go to Mexico to go to court and find a bilingual Lawyer to represent us and pay for our airfare and accommodation within 45 days. As far as I am concerned, they should close these two companies because they are bunch of liars and I believe that they are very good scammers! They can make you believe that they have good intentions but please don't believe any of what they told you.
flyboy
February 08, 2018
I have been contacted by R-5 in the last couple of weeks and been talking to an Andrew Perris. I am getting the same information about a buyer trying to gain controlling interest. I told them to send me an offer and it came back more than I paid. I did not sign the letter of intent or send any documents. I did give them my contract number since he told me they could look up my membership annual points, what I have banked and my maintenance fee cost to give me a better offer. No request for money has been made and he told me the buyer will pay the closing cost and also the transfer fee required by the contract. I have not heard back yet from Mr. Perris. I am curious what resort in Cancun that those being approached by R-5 Realty own. I own at Villa del Palmer. I did check out their website but not much information.
flyboy
February 13, 2018

In reply to by flyboy

Since my last post I have since been called by R-5 Realty again but this time by a Ralph Pena. I didn't inform him that I had previously been contacted my Andrew Perris. I told him to go ahead and send me an offer and to my surprise it was $45,000 above the one I got the first time for the same property. On a follow up call I asked if he knew of Andrew Perris since they supposedly work in the same office. And of course he didn't. I also asked how the process works and if any money is required up front and he told me no that an escrow would be set up that the sale money would be deposited into then in 15 days I would have to pay them a 6% sales commission. This definitely smells like a scam. Thanks everyone for your post on R-5 realty.

PalmarSkeptic
February 09, 2018
R-5 REALTY IS A SCAM!! We talked to someone in the New Mexico Atty General's office in Albuquerque. He was so awesome, that he offered to take a walk downtown to the address listed for R-5: 600 Central Ave, SW. Here is his reply: "There is no office at that address; there is no license listed for them at the Board of Realtors or at the Real Estate Commission; they are not registered with the Secretary of State". Well, that ends that for us. It was a great offer for our timeshare, which WAS too good to be true. We would have loved to sell it at that price because we know resales generally sell at waaay below value. But here's another thing: We were dealing with Theresa Arias at R-5 and since I asked for her Realtor License number, which she agreed to send me a few days ago, I have not heard from her. A man from same company has been talking to my husband and sent us another letter of acceptance - why doesn't the left hand know what the right hand is doing? How can 2 people from the same office be representing the same timeshare? What I don't like is the fact that they can get our timeshare info from public records. How many other calls are we going to get? Be careful, people. Do your due diligence and investigate anyone offering to buy at high prices, or anyone at all, and tell your timeshare friends about this terrific blog. I have never before read any blogs or been apart of one, but I am so grateful. Thank you, everyone, for all your posts. It helped alert us to all this fraud going on.
Gizmo
March 13, 2018

In reply to by PalmarSkeptic

R-5 a Mr Perris contacted me and offer to buy my time share, needless to say I got taken for over six thousand dollars. Now they want over thirteen thousand plus their commission. I ask for their Lic No, and references to no avail. How ever they are thretting me with my signed aggreement. Not anwsering their calls. ANDREW A PERRIS, MIGUEL RIVERA, ZHOU CHEN, AND DAVE FROM ESCROW MANAGEMENT INC AND R-5 ARE ALL INVOLVE. Contacting FBI (202)324-3000. IF ANYBODY GETS A CALL FROM THIS INHUMAN BEINGS CALL THE FBI SOONEST.
CMax
February 09, 2018
Advanced Merchant Services, LLC at 113 Elm St in Cincinnati, Ohio contacted us about 2 weeks ago regarding out UVC membership...I smelled the BS after the second email when the sender didn't match the signer on the email. Al Baker sent the email, but the correspondence was signed Stanley Watkins...IDIOTS. I also googled the address which is a multi-unit building but Advanced Merchant Services cheap looking and very vague website does not list a suite and if you google the address they don't come up though other businesses do. We didn't get as far as having them request money at which time it would have been a definite NO...but I did send an email to them letting them know that we would be in the area on Monday and stopping in to speak with either Al or Stanley as I am sure they understand that we prefer to see and sign paperwork in person as opposed to over the internet. I am awaiting a response. A few others things that stood out to me: No registration with the BBB, No mention of clients on their website, and their main business does not relate to their "current project" which involves buying time shares for a major company who will be having functions/gatherings/trainings in Mexico and are obtaining the timeshares for housing those attending. RED FLAG...most trainings, functions, events I have attended (which is a lot) do not "include" accomodations/hotel arrangements...those are separate, so why would they be buying timeshares for such?
PalmarSkeptic
February 09, 2018
Looking at all the posts re R-5. Flyboy, I also own at Villa del Palmar. I would like to hear from the bloggers of R-5 where their ownership properties are. I just can't stand that 'they' - (R-5 Realty) have my contact info.
VDP-owner
February 15, 2018

In reply to by PalmarSkeptic

To PalmarSkeptic! We have recently been contacted by R-5 Realty also. The offer was "too good to be true", so we did our research and with the help of our sons, found these blogs which were extremely helpful. I can't wait for "Michael J. Buck, Agent" at R-5 Realty to call me back so I can start asking him questions about his company, his realty license, etc, etc, etc.! I'm so anxious to call his bluff! Anyway,to those being contacted - the R-5 REalty website is beautiful and well organized, but it really gives no detailed information, how long they've been in business, nothing about their staff, sales agents, management or owners. The documents sent to us also appeared to be very professionally done. They know what they're doing! I also searched the BBB in which they were not registered and contacted the Secretary of State of New Mexico had no record of the business which was a red flag. Also when talking with "Michael" he explained the purchase would happen once he knew the funds to buy our share were being held in an "escrow" account from the buyer, they would be transferred to us (probably would have asked for our bank acct. info), then we would have to send them payment of 6% commission of the total sale which was another red flag in sending them their payment. For your info, the email with the "Acceptance Letter" attached came from "Gary J. Benson,Jr, Office Coordinator". Their phone # is 505-303-0379, 600 Central Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102; email of info @r-5realty. com. I've emailed them responding to their email but no response as of this morning. So, hopefully this will help someone else not become a victim in the resale scams.
Pcuiller
February 11, 2018
I have been contacted by First Brokers Inc in Birmingham,Alabana to sell my Mayan Palace Timeshare.I don't know if they are legit.Phone number is 1-205-786-8545.Can you help me.
R5 Realty - SCAM!
February 12, 2018

I received a call from R5 Realty like the above bloggers showcasing interest in my timeshare with the Villa Group in Cancun. They also sent me an acceptance letter etc. all sounded too good to be true. Just talk to the Chamber of Commerce in the greater Albuquerque New Mexico area. They told me to reach out to the see Association of Realtors in Albuquerque where I found out that they are not members. The association suggested that I reach out to the NM real-estate commission (505-222-9820) . I talked to one of their lead investigators and he said that R5 Realty is an absolute SCAM! He informed me that there’s no legitimate brokers licensed under the name R5 Realty. In fact, they are taking names of other Realtors past/present & using them as a form of identity theft. Please report the scam to the phone number that I attached. As we all know “if it’s too good to be true” then it’s probably not true. Hope this helped sj

FTC Staff
February 12, 2018

In reply to by R5 Realty - SCAM!

Please help law enforcement by reporting this at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you report there will go into a secure database that law enforcement nationwide uses for investigations.

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

HogRider
February 23, 2018

In reply to by FTC Staff

Bridget is there a way we can get information out of that database? Like, are these companies legit or not?
FTC Staff
February 23, 2018

In reply to by HogRider

Only law enforcement agencies and personnel who are members of the Consumer Sentinel Network are permitted access to the database. Sentinel members include federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

You've got ways to check out an offer. Call your state Attorney General's office, call local consumer protection offices; type in the name of the company and the word "review" or "scam" and see what comes up online. 

Read the FTC article with tips about selling through a reseller: Timeshares and Vacation Plans.

Read some of the comments here and see if you get ideas from other people's experiences. And if anyone asks you to wire money -  that's a red flag. If you send money by wire transfer, it's like sending cash.

WILLIECHIL
February 13, 2018
I got scammed by a firm named Rock Rivers Firm. As everyone else mentioned in this site. They promise to sell my timeshare and I sent them a significant amount to pay for "transfer fees". Never materialized. Hope there is a way to put these criminals in jail forever
dupetoo
February 13, 2018

In reply to by WILLIECHIL

I got duped too. I reported to FTC, local police department, State of NY Attorney General and the BBB. Not one of the agencies were able to help me get my money back. Now I am filing a loss with the IRS for my 2017 taxes to recover some of my $11K.
WILLIECHIL
February 21, 2018

In reply to by dupetoo

I reported to many of those as well. No help either. Did not know I can file a loss with the IRS. Have to check on that
Carolina
February 13, 2018
Hi folks, well we signed the R5 realty offer letter and emailed it back, the price is correct as to the present value of the contract. We got no response so yesterday I emailed them and today I got a call with lots of information.... I too called the Albuquerque Chamber and they did not have the phone number for R5 as a good number.....I am checking into a Title Company or a realtor that can give advice,,, not sure how this feels, no one has talked about any fees yet, am speaking to Kevin Daniels.
franco69
February 15, 2018

In reply to by Carolina

I very recently have been contacted by a Christopher Mays of R-5 Realty regarding the purchase of my Mexico timeshare. I received the offer letter this week and have several questions to be discussed with Mr. Mays. I've tried to find some info on this business to see if it legit. I did just determine that according to the BBB, they have no file on them because they've only been in business 6 months. After reading your comments I'm inclined to think this is a scam. The offer was very generous - perhaps too good to be true.