Multinational operation stings deceptive timeshare resellers, vacation prize schemers

ID-100128578Your BBB recently announced an action by the Texas Attorney General against a couple running a timeshare mediation scam. Their scheme was part of a larger pattern. There are a lot of people looking to get out from under timeshares they no longer want and scammers have been taking advantage.

The Federal Trade Commission  just announced a big, multinational crackdown on timeshare resale scams. The sweep involved 191 actions to stop fraudulent timeshare resale services and bogus travel prizes. There were three FTC cases, 83 actions from 28 states (including the aforementioned action in Texas) and 25 actions from law enforcement agencies in 10 other countries. Over 184 people are now facing prosecution from U.S. Attorneys and local law enforcement.

Common themes among fraudulent timeshare resellers include getting consumers to pay large up-front fees and making false claims about interested buyers. Deceptive travel prize schemes such as the Platinum Travel promotion we wrote about in March, trick consumers into attending high pressure timeshare presentations or paying for discounted or “free” vacation packages that turn out to be so full of restrictions they are difficult or impossible to use.

Check out this article from the FTC for more details, as well as the FTC’s new infographic about timeshare reselling scams.



  1. krizcarcamo says:

    Selling a timeshare is a big challenge. We’ve mentioned that before on the article Getting out of timeshare contract: the truth about it. The timeshare supply exceeds the demand by far, what makes nearly impossible to sell a timeshare at the same purchase price, or to sell the timeshare at all. Scammers are aware of this, and that is where the timeshare sell now scam has its origin. Thousands of people are being called by telemarketers across the USA and Canada, who claim to have a buyer for their timeshare, ask for an upfront fee and never call again. This fraud has taken millions of dollars based in lies and dirty tricks.

  2. Timeshares can be a terrific purchase for some families, as they also can be a giant rip off for others. 50 years ago, also known as Holiday Home Sharing or timeshare travel, timeshares were created with the idea of offering fully furnished accommodations for a lower price than a full-time ownership. Nowadays, timeshares have become a very popular vacation option, yet lots of people do not completely understand how timeshares operate.

  3. Importantly, these memberships are not an investment because they are not real estate; you are buying a service to enjoy leisure time with family and not to do business, and it is how it should be seen. In some countries, these types of memberships are for life (deeded) and can be inherited to the relatives of the owner of the membership.

  4. Amanda Blue says:

    Timeshare sales are very common these days. Resort companies and worried owners are doing all that is possible to sell their timeshare properties, but the problem is that the supply exceeds the demand by far. If you go on vacation to a well known touristic spot, it is very probable that you will be approached by a timeshare salesman. No matter where you are: at the airport, on the streets, on a restaurant, timeshare salespeople are everywhere! And if that’s not enough, the internet is also infested by thousands of timeshare sales deals.

  5. Tiffany Cox says:

    This fraud is increasing fast. The typical scheme involves a cold call from a timeshare broker claiming to have a buyer willing to pay big bucks. People are entice to get money and the timeshare out of their monthly expenses. The con man asks for upfront fees to complete the transaction, if they hear again from him is only to request for more money.

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