For timeshare owners in the South – particularly in Tennessee – the BBB is offering a warning about one alleged timeshare resale company that is likely a scam.
Specifically, the BBB has issued a warning to consumers to be wary of any timeshare purchase offers that come from Madison South Timeshares and its representative, who claims to go by the name of Jason Rice.
According to the BBB of the Mid-South, the Bureau “has fielded dozens of calls from timeshare owners inquiring about the legitimacy of offers they’ve received from Madison South Timeshares.” Those who have filed complaints all have similar stories; as the BBB explains, the timeshare owner was searching for timeshare purchase options when they came across Madison South. Subsequently, the company,
“…contacted them with an offer to buy their timeshare, asking only that the owners pay a couple hundred dollars in upfront fees for title searches and taxes. Once those fees are paid, the timeshare owners will supposedly receive the funds from the sale via certified check or bank deposit.”
Among the things that make this offer feel funny to the experts of the BBB? For one thing, the company’s listed address in Jackson, TN appears to be bogus, with the property manager for the shopping center verifying that it is “a vacant space in a strip mall.”
There’s also the peculiar matter that many of the apparent offers from would-be timeshare purchasers are for the same amount, and from the exact same person. As the BBB explains:
“The documents forwarded to BBB are virtually identical – all list the buyer as Michelle Lewis and most offer the same amount – $21,600.”
At least one timeshare owner, too, was contacted out of the blue; he wasn’t in the market to sell a timeshare, “and didn’t know how the company got his email address.”
As the BBB notes, this case is an important reminder for consumers that timeshare resale scams are all-too real, and all-too common.
As the Bureau says, the best course of action for most timeshare owners who have been contacted by an unsolicited timeshare reseller is to simply “hang up,” as “it is likely a scam.” For those who do engage, the Bureau encourages consumers to take caution and do their research about the company, its licenses, and the services it is claiming to offer with consumer protection officials in their state; they also remind consumers to “get all refund policies and promises in writing” and to “never pay fees by wire transfer or prepaid debit/gift cards.”
For more – including the stories of several individuals affected by this organization – we encourage you to read the full report from the BBB, available here via Local Memphis.
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.