Timeshares are a legitimate vacation option for many people with about 9.6 million Americans owning timeshares.   However, resales have often been difficult for timeshare owners and scammers have been  preying upon timeshare owners trying to sell their interests with promises of buyers that never materialize after charging the timeshare owners upfront fees of sometimes thousands of dollars.  Part of the problem is that the timeshare resale firms are largely unregulated although the Federal Trade Commission  (FTC) has brought a number of lawsuits against timeshare resale companies for false and misleading marketing.  Many older timeshare owners are specifically targeted by scammers through the mail, telemarketing and seminars in which they promise easy sales and big profits.  Most of these companies charge upfront fees of between $2,500 and $10,000.  Many of them provide a money back guarantee, but the guarantee of a scammer is worthless.

Recently the FTC sued a company called Consumer Protection Law which the FTC alleges targeted older Americans through mailers here they invited them to in-person presentations where the company is alleged to have used high pressure tactics to get people to sign up for their services which cost between $5,000 an $80,000.  Unfortunately, according to the FTC Consumer Protection Law rarely followed through on their promises.

Anyone considering selling their timeshare unit should check out the legitimacy of any company proposing to help you sell your timeshare.  You can check with your state’s attorney general and your local consumer protection agencies.  You also can do a search engine search typing in the word “scam” along with the name of the company you are considering.  Make sure you have a lawyer review any contract before you sign it and you should never pay in advance for the services of someone purporting to assist you in reselling your timeshare unit. Probably the best way to sell a timeshare unit is to deal with the resort management company or timeshare developer on your own.

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