There are timeshare units in tourist destinations across the nation – and because of this, predatory timeshare practices know no borders. They can cross state lines and impact innocent consumers in states ranging from our home base of Florida, to Georgia, and even up to Maryland, as a recent report by WBAL Baltimore highlights.
The I-Team piece, “BBB warns consumers of timeshare advertisement scam,” spotlights Maryland resident Donnell Josiah, who owns a timeshare in the Shenandoah Valley. Josiah received a call from an organization, Resort Property Management, claiming that they’d like to list and advertise his timeshare to “vacationers looking to rent,” as WBAL’s Barry Simms explains.
Seeing an easy way to make some extra income and help pay off his timeshare maintenance fees, Josiah took up the company’s offer. After inspecting their professional-looking website, which included addresses in Atlanta and Scotland, Josiah took up the company’s offer and paid its upfront fee of $1899.
While the company did advertise his timeshare for the promised 90 days, Josiah received none of the promised offers, WBAL claims. And when Josiah tried to contact the company to renew the advertisement “at the company’s expense,” he got the “runaround,” according to WBAL, shuttled from call to call and strongly refused a refund.
Josiah is not alone; the BBB tells WBAL that “complaints have come in from the across the country – 120 over the last year,” according to Simms. The BBB gives the company an “F” rating, and Simms reports that the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit has “an open investigation regarding the company.”
The bottom line? The timeshare market is fraught with predators looking to make an easy dollar from unsuspecting consumers, be it in the form of misleading advertisements or the classic timeshare resale scam. Take caution before you spend your hard-earned money! Educate yourself with the help of consumer protection resources and avenues of dispute in your state, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted legal professional for guidance.