U S District court in Houston had 8 individuals arrested around the country and they face multiple counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and mail fraud. Those arrested had reportedly set up telemarketing centers in Las Vegas, Houston, Los Angeles and other locations with the intention of taking money from timeshare owners who wanted to sell their timeshare. This operation produced no sales, made no offers, and apparently had no intention of doing so.
In all, they had collected nearly $7 million from unsuspecting timeshare owners and had pocketed most of the profits.
This scam is not new to timeshare owners. In fact, over the last several years many scam artists like this have been arrested, convicted, and put in jail.
Timeshare owners need to protect themselves from this kind of rip off. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If the one calling you has no track record or real address they are probably a scam. Even if these guys are locked up there are plenty more to take their place.
How is it that timeshare owners are so vulnerable to this kind of scheme? In all likelihood they are desperate to sell their timeshare and are willing to do anything to make it go away. After all, a timeshare is a liability given that there are annual maintenance fees to be paid and occasional special assessments.
I think the answer here is to trust a licensed timeshare resale broker. They adhere to a code of ethics, are held accountable by several authorities, and have everything to lose if they cross the line. If you are dealing with a timeshare resale broker – a Realtor – they have a reputation to guard and a reputation at stake.
Trust a Realtor with your timeshare sale. It just makes sense.