Scam Update: How to Avoid Resale Scams

While vacation ownership offers many benefits including the experience of feeling at home while on vacation by going somewhere familiar year after year, where the staff know you by name, or even experiencing something new at another resort that your membership allows you the option of staying at, not to mention a range of suite sizes to choose from so you can use your points to bring additional people to vacation with you, there is one thing to be wary of: scammers! Unfortunately, there are fraudsters out there who will try to use several different tactics to try and cheat you out of your membership privileges.  

Your privacy is of paramount importance to us here at Universal Vacation Club International (UVCI) and we do everything we can to safeguard the personal information of all our members, but nonetheless scammers have many tricks up their sleeve. In order to help you protect your membership, we have gathered a list of the most recent scams and tips for avoiding being the victim of one.

The Most Recent Scams 

Recently some of our members have reported being contacted by people claiming to work for the Villa Group and telling them that the Villa Group is going public and selling stock and therefore needs to buy all memberships back. This is entirely false. Your membership is yours to keep and we would never have someone contact you and tell you that we need to buy it back.  

Once the fraudsters make contact with you, they may say that prior to receiving the payment for buying back your membership, you need to deposit money into a specified account and then they may come up with additional reasons to demand money before they can refund you the money from selling your membership. We want you to be aware of this fraudulent scheme, so that you can avoid it. Never give money to people who contact you via unsolicited telephone calls or emails, even if they claim to be a member of the Villa Group. If you have any doubts or questions about your membership, you can always reach us by calling 1-800-852-4755 or by emailing We have been in business for 38 years and our only goal is to make sure that our members enjoy their memberships to the fullest.  

Another recent scam is a representative from ¨Rockefellers Property Consultants” contacting members and claiming to be investors that are willing to buy their ownership because vacation ownership in a certain resort destination was oversold and owners were complaining that they could not book the vacation time they wanted. This scam is a purchase offer from Rockefellers Property Consultants, which is generally for a higher amount than what you would have originally paid for your membership. Never forget, that If the offer sounds too good to be true and is for way more than you paid for your membership, then it is definitely a scam.

Other Common Scammer Tactics 

There are countless other tactics that scammers use to target vacation owners in Mexico. They range from individuals claiming to be representatives of a resort, a resort partner, or a licensed real estate agent or broker. While the fraudster schemes vary, they typically include something along the lines of the scammer offering to pay you a very large sum of money to either rent or buy your vacation ownership with the caveat that you must pay a fee first. Even if they sound very official and send you official looking contracts and paperwork, always be dubious and never ever send money to them. 

Some fraudsters even go as far as creating an impressive looking website to make their scheme look legitimate, but it’s all smoke and mirrors, do not be duped by a website that looks real, as anyone can create one these days.  

In the case that someone claims to be from a brokerage firm, there have been instances where a fraudster poses as a legitimate broker and assumes their identity without that broker’s knowledge.  

Do not be tricked by even professional looking documents, websites, or someone who appears to be a real registered broker. Most importantly, always be suspicious of any unsolicited offers that initially might make your heart jump.  

Scammers may offer you a guaranteed way to exit your membership or create a sense of urgency by saying that due to a big event in the area, they would like to pay you to rent your vacation club ownership. The $799 scam is a common one, where they ask members to pay an upfront fee of $799. There are ways to rent out your vacation ownership, and if you want to go that route, make sure you go with an agency that charges a commission, not an upfront fee.  

If you have any doubts at all, contact Member Services and explain the situation to them. They may be aware of the specific scam and give you additional resources to determine if the person or company is legit.

How to Avoid a Scam 

Keep in mind the following tips and warnings to avoid becoming a victim of these vacation ownership scams. 

  • Always be suspicious of any unsolicited phone calls, e-mails, or other communication regarding your membership.
  • Fraudsters are known to be persistent and rather convincing. They may pose as members of the Villa Group, the Mexican government, a financial institution, or a legitimate real estate broker. Take anything they say with a pinch of salt even if they provide authentic looking documents and websites. They will also use high-pressure tactics to try and convince you, but do not be tricked by them.
  • Never send money to anyone who gives you an uninvited offer on your vacation ownership, especially when they ask for money from you up-front in order to buy your ownership. Also never adhere to any request to wire money to a stranger in connection with your membership. It is almost impossible to recover money that is wired abroad. 
  • Keep in mind that UVCI and the Villa Group will never contact you to rent or sell your vacation ownership or demand suspicious fees such as money for “Mexican Taxes”. 
  • Never share any personal information about your membership and definitely do not give out your bank account or credit card numbers to anyone who has contacted you via an unsolicited phone call or email.

What to do if a Scam Artist Contacts You 

Sometimes it is hard to know if the person who contacts you by phone or email is legitimate or not and since the nature of scam artists is to dupe you into thinking that what they are saying is true, it can be hard to detect a scam artist. We hope that the telltale signs we mentioned above will help you to identify a scam from a mile away.  

If you think you have been contacted by a scammer, make sure to ask questions about the organization and write down any information that they tell you over the phone including the person’s name and the name of the company they are representing and if they contact you by email, save those emails. And follow these additional steps: 

  1. Contact the Attorney General in the state where the person or company who contacted you claims to be calling from. Ask if they have received any complaints about a similar scam. 
  2. Report the scam and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, Business Fraud Division by calling 1-877-382-4357. 
  3. If you are the victim of a scam, make sure you file a report with a local law enforcement agency. 
  4. Also, be sure to contact Member Services at 1-800-852-47552 or email us at and explain all the details of the potential scam.  

We hope this information helps you to be alert and stay vigilant about potential scams, so that you can protect your membership and continue to enjoy all it offers. If you have any additional questions, contact Member Services and we will be more than happy to answer your questions or provide additional resources. 

One Comment

  • We received the contact from NY investment fund that Villa Palmar is going public so we are eligible for a buy-out option that was more than 5X times what we paid. They were very persistent, calling multiple times daily, and emphasizing there was a rapidly approaching deadline, otherwise, we would lose out. They make a very compelling case, but be aware it is totally a scam. The scammers continued to call and they provided a phone number the receptionist answered “Villa Palmar” and made it all sound legitimate. Don’t be fooled.


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