Perhaps you’ve heard. In late 2019 the Federal Trade Commission finally got a timeshare resale scam company—Pro Timeshare Resales LLC—to pay the piper. The company was forced to cease operations and had to surrender many of its assets in order to pay a required penalty totaling nearly $2.7 million. That money was then disbursed by the FTC as a way to refund customers scammed by the company. Great, right?
Not so much.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that this scam company got what was coming to it. But the average check being sent out to the customers these crooks defrauded is about $332. Meanwhile, the average amount paid to the company by the people it tricked? $3,500. Those poor folks are getting back less than ten percent of what they paid that company to do exactly nothing for them.
In exchange for their $3,500, Timeshare Resales LLC made certain promises. It promised it had a renter or buyer lined up to purchase or lease their timeshare—and that they get a certain price for it. All they needed was for the owners to pay that fee upfront.
But Pro Timeshare never rented or sold those timeshares. They did nothing for those people whose money—large sums of money!—they took.
And Pro Timeshare is far from alone in this industry. It starts with the timeshare sales pitch, where salespeople are not above lying through their teeth to get hardworking people to shell out ridiculous amounts of money for what amounts to an obligation to return to the same rental property every year for the rest of their lives. The reason these resale scams have popped up and become so successful is that the people running them consider those who bought timeshares to be easy marks already—and desperate ones at that.
It’s a lousy way to regard their fellow human beings.
At The People’s Advocate, we consider timeshare company owners to be evil because of the ways in which they defraud and cajole people into signing contracts for “ownership” that isn’t really ownership, which consumers don’t need and possibly won’t be able to afford over time. And we despise those phony timeshare resale companies for the same reason. If you’ve signed a timeshare contract that you’re not feeling right about—regardless of what sort of property interest you have “purchased”—contact usfor a free information session on what you can do about it. Don’t pay a single cent up front to some company making promises they never intend to keep.