From time to time we feel it necessary to remind our valued members of some of the potential scams that befall even the savviest of vacation members. It has come to our attention recently that there seems to be a resurgence of resale and rental scams whereby members are being contacted by scammers either by telephone or email. Read on to find out more.
Timeshare scams and Vacation Club Fraud
Most people assume that vacation club and vacation ownership fraud is restricted to fake vacation ownership sellers and dubious resale markets when the real dangers can arise even after you have purchased a genuine membership. There has been a spate of resurgent vacation ownership scams lately whereby even the happiest vacation club members have been targeted by “timeshare advocates” claiming to offer fraudulent services that include resale scams, cancellation scams and vacation ownership rental scams. If you are ever asked to pay a fee upfront to sell your vacation ownership, this is most likely a scam.
Fake Vacation Ownership Consulting Advocates
Last month, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) released a scam alert warning vacation ownership members to beware companies claiming to work on its behalf. In its advisory notice, ARDA warned vacation club members to beware as: “Several vacation ownership owners are being contacted by a group of individuals using the company name of “Resort Consulting Advocates” claiming to have an interested buyer for the victim’s vacation ownership interest. They have created false contract of sale documents that include a “100% guarantee,” as well as claiming to being affiliated with ARDA in order to get owners to pay an upfront fee.”
Fraudulent Real Estate Brokers
Recently, the New Mexico Real Estate Commission has received a surge of inquiries from consumers that have been contacted by a company that calls itself R-5 Realty. This company is pretending to sell other people’s vacation ownerships, but they are not licensed to do so. To read the full update on this scam written by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, please click here.
Don’t be fooled by the name
Scam companies change their company names frequently to avoid being brought to justice. You are advised to be very wary of any company that calls or emails you offering resale, rental or cancellation services. You can be pretty sure these companies are scams. You should be particularly wary if the company claims to be working on behalf of ARDA, Universal Vacation Club, Club Caribe, or any of our associates as we do not endorse such services.
Top Scam Companies
The below is a list of top scam companies we have identified this year. Please be advised that this list does not include all scam companies.
- R-5 Realty
- CCW Holdings
- Westwood Realty
- Magnum Realty Group
- Advanced Travel
- Network Brokerage Corporation
- C Trip Corporation
- Evergreen Investments
- Global Alpha Capital
- Resort Vacation Ownership Resales, Inc.
- Vacation Property Marketing
- Resort Equity Marketing
What can you do if you have been scammed?
If you feel that you have been part of a scam, please share details of the scam with us by contacting Member Services at 1-800-852-4755 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also contact your local authorities and the state attorney general to file a report, and may choose to make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
Final word of advice
Thoroughly research any company before paying any upfront fees for rental services or resale assistance. Most commonly, companies asking for upfront fees are scams. If in doubt, call Member Services: 1-800-852-4755 so we can offer guidance and assistance.
A John Williams of Elite Acquisitions Partners called me to say the Villa del Palmar group is buying back timeshares. John emailed me with their address: 3030 Northwest Expy, Oklahoma City, OK. 73118 and phone number (405) 254 4151 and email: email@example.com.
He asked for me to send a scan of the front page of my timeshare agreement. Is this a scam company ?
Thank you for reading our blog and providing this information. It appears that the company contacting you does exhibit signs that they may be part of a scam. Villa del Palmar and the Villa Group do not buyback timeshares and that offer from Elite Acquisitions is one of the most frequent type of scams that is attempted.
We appreciate you providing us with this information. We will have one of our Member Services agents reach out to you so that they can conduct a scam intake, further investigate, and inform others about this company. If for any reason you want to reach out to our Member Services department with questions or to report another incident they can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 1-800-852-4755.