Court Shuts Down Timeshare Resale Scam, Alleging Fraud

timeshare scamsA telemarketing scam that swindled timeshare owners trying to unload their properties has been temporarily shut down by a federal court.

The temporary restraining order, issued at the Federal Trade Commission's request, names Florida-based Vacation Property Services, Inc.; Vacation Property Sellers, Inc. d/b/a Timeshare Experts; Higher Level Marketing Inc. d/b/a Vacation Property Services; Albert M. Wilson; David S. Taylor and Frank M. Perry, Jr.

Since 2006, according to the FTC's complaint, Vacation Property Services and the other defendants made hundreds of thousands of unsolicited telemarketing calls to timeshare owners, lying about their ability to swiftly find buyers for their properties.The FTC accuses the telemarketers of tricking consumers into paying sizeable up-front fees with false promises that they either had buyers lined up and waiting, or that they wouldn't have any trouble finding them quickly. Regardless of which sales pitch they used, victims were convinced to hand over fees ranging from $200 to more than $8,000.

Once they were duped into paying the advance fee, it wasn't long before consumers realized they'd been had and attempted to get their money back. The scammers regularly dodged their angry calls, the FTC charges, and denied all refund requests.

The FTC's complaint accuses the defendants of violating the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule by lying about their refund policies and the existence of potential buyers. The complaint also alleges the defendants called hundreds of thousands of consumers whose numbers are on the FTC's Do Not Call Registry.

The FTC is seeking to permanently shut down the scam and force the defendants to refund their victims. The following organizations assisted the FTC in busting the scheme, including The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Tampa, Florida, Division; The Office of the Attorney General, Florida; the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Better Business Bureau of West Florida; and the St. Petersburg, Florida, Police Department.

This case against Vacation Property Services is the latest in a ongoing FTC crackdown against con artists taking advantage of consumers struggling to make ends meet in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Timeshare resale scams, the FTC says, typically offer victims a full return on their initial investment along with a handsome profit. They also offer consumers a tempting escape from timeshare loan payments and mandatory maintenance fees, which vary from several hundred to several thousand dollars a year.

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The resale of a timeshare is a legitimate business. Companies agree to advertise a timeshare for a fee on their websites. As with advertising, the membership doesn´t need to sell in order the fees to be legitimate. The difference between an honest timeshare resale company and a scam, is when the company falsely suggest they have a buyer waiting for their timeshare, or picture unrealistic, overoptimistic selling possibilities. This is a good article about timeshare resale companies:

March 01 2013 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Theres a new website launching 12-1-12 called If you or anyone you know has been scammed or ripped off this is the place to report it.

Check out their facebook page and give them a like, also look for updates on website launch...

November 23 2012 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Timeshare Scam

Keeping timeshare owners informed and educated about scams is one way to prevent more scams from happening.

The other way is to prevent people from falling for the 1st scam (at the resort during the timeshare tour).
Don't buy one! Only rent them!

October 27 2011 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply