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May 23, 2018

Timeshare resale scheme preyed on older adults

consumer.ftc.gov

Timeshare resale scheme preyed on older adultsScams

by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle

If you’re thinking about selling your timeshare through a resale company, research the company first. Read about this recent FTC case against Pro Timeshare Resales, and you’ll know why.
Timeshare Resales is a Florida-based company that called people – many of whom were older adults – and promised to sell their timeshare properties. The company often said it had a buyer in mind and that the sale would occur quickly. Once the timeshare owner agreed, the company would charge an up-front fee, usually of $500 to $2,500.
But, according to the FTC, the company did not sell the property quickly – or even at all. Often, it would ask for additional fees and refuse to grant refunds.
As result of its FTC settlement, Pro Timeshare Resales is now banned from timeshare resale services and telemarketing. It’s not allowed to make misrepresentations or collect any more payments for their timeshare services. Plus, it agreed to surrender more than $3 million.
How can you avoid timeshare resale scams? Here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Check out the reseller. Contact the State Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if they have any complaints on file. You can also search online for complaints.
  • Ask about fees. It’s better to do business with a reseller that takes fees after the timeshare is sold. If you must pay a fee in advance, get refund policies in writing.
  • Get everything in writing. Read the contract carefully to make sure it matches promises you’ve been given verbally. It should include the services the reseller will perform, plus any fees you must pay and when. If the deal isn’t what you expected or wanted, don’t sign the contract.
For more information, check out Timeshares and Vacation Plans. And, if you’ve been a victim of a scam, report it to the FTC.