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Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Warns Consumers of Timeshare Reseller Scams

“Don’t let your vacation getaway get away from you”

Denver – Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman today advised consumers thinking about selling their timeshare interests to be on the lookout for some common scams perpetrated by so-called “timeshare resellers.”

“As consumers age, experience a decline in their financial situation, or simply change their vacation preferences and habits, they may tire of the burden of monthly/annual timeshare fees and assessments,” said Attorney General Coffman.  “Desperate to get out from under this financial burden, too many consumers are drawn in by promises of quick sales and heady profits.  The key is to identify legitimate companies and to avoid those out to scam you.”

Here are some basic warning signs and tips to help protect you from these scams:

  • You receive unsolicited offers or sales pitches, especially when they include promises like “we have a buyer waiting for your timeshare,” “we guarantee you will make a large profit on the sale,” or similar statements.
  • The reseller or transfer company only uses a PO box or other mail forwarding service and won’t give you an actual physical address (independently check any address out on the Internet to make sure it’s not a vacant lot or other phony address).
  • You are asked to make an immediate payment by wire transfer, money order, or prepaid gift or money card.
  • The offer suggests that you are about to be hit with an historic increase in resort or condominium fees or assessments, or similar appeals to scare you into acting quickly.
  • Don’t be misled into paying for appraisals, inspections or other services – scammers use these to avoid state prohibitions on collecting up-front fees and these services are rarely needed to complete a timeshare resale or transfer.
  • Be wary of any solicitation or offer of purchase that requires you to use a resale, transfer, or escrow company of the buyer’s choice – especially where that company requires some kind of up-front fee.
  • Claims of huge or guaranteed profits; due to the ready availability of vacation ownership options, the resale value of a timeshare often is lower than original purchase price.
  • Under Colorado law, timeshare resellers are prohibited from collecting any fees, costs, or other consideration from you until they provide you with a copy of the recordable deed or other equivalent written evidence clearly demonstrating that the resale timeshare has been transferred in accordance with the transfer agreement.
  • If you own a timeshare interest in a foreign country, be suspicious of any claims by a reseller or transfer company that you must first pay huge sums for taxes or other government charges.  Do some independent research and verify that any foreign fees or taxes are legitimate BEFORE you agree to pay anything to some third party.

If you believe you have been victimized by a timeshare reseller scam or wish to report suspicious activity, file a report here or call 1-800-222-4444.

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