How’s this for an attention grabber?
“Timeshare Resale Company claims to be on the 23rd floor of a 9 story building.”
This stunning little sentence comes courtesy of a press release from the Better Business Bureau, fleshed out further here, thanks to timeshare news site Inside the Gate. It’s a brazen example of evasion from an alleged timeshare resale company that the BBB is investigating for suspicious activities stemming from multiple consumer complaints.
According to reports, the BBB began receiving inquiries about this alleged timeshare resale LLC in 2016; here’s one consumer’s story, according to Inside the Gate:
“The consumer was told that the company had been hired by a large Dutch brewing company to acquire many timeshares in Mexico. The complaint states that the consumer was asked to wire $1558 in fees to a bank in Mexico and was told that money would be kept in an escrow account until the sale was final. The consumer complied with this request, which was immediately followed by an additional request to wire $3500 more. The consumer became suspicious and later confirmed with the bank in Mexico that the account the funds were received into was in fact a checking account, not an escrow account. Additionally, the bank confirmed the funds were no longer in the account.”
The company in question claims to be based out of Peoria, IL; however, the BBB could not find any listing of the company with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, nor with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
What’s more, mail sent to the company’s posted address was returned as non-deliverable, and the building used in their website photo is located at a completely different address. When a BBB agent posed as a consumer looking to sell a timeshare, a sales representative claimed that their office was located on the 23rd floor – which, according to Peoria Planning and Development Department, doesn’t exist.
A BBB investigation also uncovered that the company’s website was nearly identical to another timeshare resale company site; according to the BBB, “both companies offer timeshare resales, have identical testimonials and are both registered to the same address and phone number.”
In all, this border-hopping story is a potent reminder to take “caution if you’re contacted with an offer to sell or rent your timeshare,” as the BBB advises. Timeshare resale scams are all-too common, and consumers should always be wary before paying money upfront to a company that claims to have eager buyers or foreign investors ready to make a deal. In the oversaturated timeshare market, no such buyers typically exist.
As the BBB reminds us, “at most [such resale companies] are offering to advertise your timeshare for sale or rent,” with no guarantee of success. Remember to approach any unsolicited offer to buy or sell a timeshare with more than a few grains of salt, always do your research, and don’t be afraid to reach out to an attorney or to state or local consumer protection officials if you ever suspect foul play.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.