After being cold called from so many different firms over the years.. countless times trying to sucker me in for numerous different reasons, I have decided to do the public a service and make my own blog. I will dissect all these companies 1 by 1 in the event to eventually let the world know who are scammers and who are legitimate companies actually here to help us…

Posts tagged ‘Timesharetruth’

Don’t Waste Time with Midwest Timeshares

Milwaukee, Wis., April 30, 2012, – The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers about Midwest Timeshares, a Green Bay-based timeshare reseller who has racked up 70 complaints from consumers in 33 states and Canada.

The company, which has also done business as National Timeshare Resale (“NTR”) and Integrated Advertising Solutions, has an “F” rating with the BBB, the lowest grade possible. Complainants tell the BBB that the company charged them upfront fees, claiming they had a waiting buyer, but the buyer never materialized and promised refunds were never received.

Patricia Z. of Delaware states, “We were contacted by Midwest Timeshares and had to give them money for them to do a title search, in the amount of $499. They wanted more but we didn’t have any more to give them. We were called back and told that they had a buyer for the timeshare and it would take 30 days to complete the sale.”

Patricia never heard back from the company and it did not respond to the BBB.

Clara P. of Indiana says Midwest Timeshares promised to sell her timeshare in twelve months. When it didn’t, it promised to refund her $699. She never received the refund and said, “I hope that my information can help you in some way to stop these criminals.”

The Wisconsin BBB has sent several requests to the company asking it to verify its techniques in finding buyers for timeshares and to provide name and contact information for customers whose timeshares were sold. However, Midwest Timeshares has not responded to the BBB’s requests.

“If you want to sell your timeshare, contact a real estate agent”, says Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin. “Do not pay money to a stranger that you have only spoken with over the phone, that you have never seen nor met.”

Hoth says, “I understand that our economy has been struggling, and some timeshare owners may be desperate to rid themselves of their investment and make some money. Unfortunately, scammers are capitalizing on this desperation. And by the time they realize that they were scammed, it may be too late to get a refund through their credit card company.”

If you are interested in selling your timeshare, the BBB offers the following tips:
Be wary of too-good-to-be-true resale claims. The company’s salespeople may claim that the market in the area where our property is located is “hot” or that they have already received a buyer request. Be skeptical of these claims.

Be careful if you’re asked to pay a large fee upfront. Smaller fees for appraisals, etc. are customary for a real estate transaction. However, if you’re asked to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars up front, this should be seen as a red flag.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what type of a report it has on the firm. Also check to see if any complaints have been processed and, if so, how did the company respond?

Request a written contract and read it. What cancellation rights do you have? If you were promised the company would sell your timeshare, but the contract doesn’t state that, don’t sign it.

Check with your state to see if the salespeople are licensed to sell timeshares or if they are licensed real estate brokers and whether there are any complaints on file against them.

You may want to try to sell your timeshare “by owner” by placing an ad in a newspaper or magazine. Or, list your timeshare with a licensed real estate broker.

For more information or further inquiries, please contact: yourtimeshare@hush.com

or like us on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/yourtimeshare

Traveling Soon? Do it Scam Free!

You are not alone.

We are all tired of winter and want to go to some place warm for a week or more. Before you pay any money for your get-away, make sure you aren’t being scammed.

Check out some of the top signs of a possible travel scam by:

Mark Kahler at budgettravel.about.com/od/planningtoolsstrategies/tp/ten_scam.htm.

Advance payment is required without written contract. Make sure you have a contract that states the product(s) you are paying for.

Transactions by courier service rather than the post office. To avoid mail fraud statutes, some con artists will stay away from the post office.

Transaction can only be carried out by telephone. Hard to get a contract this way. Ask them why they are using just the telephone. You’ll probably get an evasive answer.

Offer is for a limited time only. True, you can get airline tickets for a limited time only. But, if they are saying pay now for a trip 60 days out, be suspicious. Sixty days is the time limit for disputing credit card charges at many banks.

A price far below market value. Why are you getting such a great deal on a trip they won’t make any money on? Won’t happen. Are there other charges they will add on? Will you be a target for a high-pressure sales pitch?

Any of these could spell trouble so beware!

For further info please contact: yourtimeshare@hush.com

Timeshare Owners: Beware of “City Resorts”

Timeshare Owners Warning

CITY RESORTS OF NV Not Responsive to BBB Complaints

Nationwide, BBBs processed 2,804 complaints on timeshare resale services in 2010

September 15, 2011 – The Better Business Bureau is warning timeshare owners who are trying to sell or rent their timeshares to beware of Las Vegas based company, City Resorts.

City Resorts has been the subject of 23 complaints from around the country since March 2011 and holds an F rating with the BBB for failing to respond to complaints.

Complainants allege that City Resorts contacts consumers stating they’ve found a buyer for their timeshare. Complainants are then told to send a cashier’s check between $2,000-$6,000 for closing costs or processing fees. Complainants report that no buyers or renters emerged, and customers were unable to get responses to calls or their money back.

“After City Resorts got my money, I never heard from them again,” bemoaned a consumer from Massachusetts who lost $2,000. “They completely fooled me into believing I had a buyer for my timeshare.”

BBB representatives confirm that the phone number, website, and email have been disconnected and the current address is a mail-drop. Nationwide, BBBs processed 2,804 complaints on timeshare resale services in 2010.

Best advice? States Katie Robison of Vegas BBB, “Timeshare owners who want to sell or rent their timeshare should be wary of timeshare resale services that pressure customers to pay thousands of dollars up front, claiming that buyers are at hand. Too often, the services don’t deliver and customers can’t get refunds.”

BBB offers the following advice to timeshare owners who are looking for help in selling their timeshare:

· Check out the business – You can check out a business at http://www.bbb.org/ BBB Business Reviews include basic information, complaint overview, and BBB ratings from A+ to F, along with the reasons for the rating.

· Confirm location and licensing –Confirm where the company is located and in what states it does business. Ask if the company’s salespeople are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located and verify this with the state licensing board.

· Get the facts on the figures – Find out if the business charges a commission. Do they handle the entire closing and provide escrow services? Do they charge an up-front listing or advertising fee? What does it cover and is it refundable?

· Be wary of upfront fees –Consider opting for a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the timeshare is sold.

· Don’t fall for the hard sell or an offer that sounds too good to be true – Don’t agree to anything over the phone but instead ask the salesperson to send you written materials; take the time to think it over and don’t be pressured.

For more consumer tips or to check out a business or file a complaint with BBB, start at http://www.bbb.org

BBB REVIEWS ON CITY RESORTS

Vegas Review:
http://www.bbb.org/southern-nevada/business-reviews/timeshare-resale-and-rental-marketing/city-resorts-in-las-vegas-nv-90005747

Orlando Review:
http://www.bbb.org/central-florida/business-reviews/timeshare-resale-and-rental-marketing/red-solutions-in-orlando-fl-205146772

For any more info please contact us: yourtimeshare@hush.com

In the News: BBB Dallas Warns Timeshare Resale Scams Are On the Rise

Both the Better Business Bureau and the FBI say timeshare resale fraud is on the rise, reported Jay Gormley on CBS11-TV, Dallas – Fort Worth. Timeshare owners are paying thousands of dollars up front to timeshare resale services, but their timeshares aren’t sold and customers have difficulty getting refunds.

From 2009 through 2011, the BBB received 274 complaints from North Texans and 9,251 complaints, nationwide.

“The scam works because the victims assume that paying money up front is normal to cover legitimate listing and appraisal fees,” notes Jay Gormley. “They soon find out, however, there’s nothing legitimate about it.”

The BBB says timeshare owners should treat their properties like they were selling their own homes and that any outside realtors, brokers or companies should not receive payment until the property actually sells.

See this video or to read the story go to http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/02/22/dallas-bbb-warns-timeshare-scams-are-on-the-rise/#comments

To check out timeshare resale services and other types of business, find BBB Accredited Businesses, see tips and alerts, report false advertising, or file customer complaints, start at http://www.bbb.org.

Timeshare Pitfalls Continue to Trap Consumers

Reports that new tactics are catching new victims!

AUSTIN, Texas – Mar. 7, 2012 – It is a common scenario. Someone receives a mailer or email offering a free trip or other fantastic prize and all he or she has to do is sit through a half-day seminar. Once the victim is there, the company turns on the high-pressure tactics in an attempt to sell a timeshare.

Often, the offer is legitimate, if unwanted. Other times, the offer is a scam meant to bilk honest people of thousands of dollars. Such scams have prevailed for decades, and most savvy consumers are wise to them.

So, the con artists have changed their game, prompting new warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and enforcement efforts from the Federal Trade Commission.

Better Business Bureau received more than 2,600 complaints nationally about timeshare resell companies last year, and almost 200 more in January 2012. Some complain about available dates or other management issues, but many allege that companies collected money for fees or other charges and then disappeared.

Corpus Christi resident Thurman Huddleston complained to BBB after wiring more than $10,000 to a Dallas company promising to sell him a timeshare in Mexico.

“The people were good,” he said. “I really beat myself up, because I should have known better. It just sounded like a viable thing.”

Huddleston said when he first got the call, he researched the company online and did not find any red flags. When the company asked him for a payment to cover the closing costs, he did not hesitate. He wired the money, leaving no trace for law enforcement to follow later.

Then they came back and asked for more money to cover the annual property taxes.

“So that sounded a little fishy, but I figured they probably won’t (let me buy a unit without paying taxes),” he said. “That should have been the last red flag, but once you’ve got that much money in it, it’s hard to walk away.”

Soon after, the company he was dealing with became impossible to contact. Huddleston suspects the timeshare never existed to begin with.

Now that people are more aware of scams like the one Huddleston fell for, scammers have started targeting victims that might not be as diligent: current timeshare owners.

The FTC cracked down on telemarketers claiming to have buyers lined up, then disappearing with the thousands of dollars owners paid to cover fake closing costs or as a deposit that would be later refunded.

The FBI reported a similar scam, with a con artist contacting the victim by phone or email and promising to sell the victim’s timeshare in a short time, often between 60 and 90 days. The scammers asked for hundreds to thousands of dollars to cover anything from closing costs to listing fees.

Sometimes, according to the FBI’s warning, the victims are then contacted a second time — this time by someone claiming to be from a recovery company. The scammer, who may be connected with the original resale company, tells the victim that he can recover the lost money for a fee.

Once again, the scammers disappear after the victim pays.

Huddleston said that though he lost thousands to the con artists who contacted him, and he feels like a dupe for falling for the scam, he is just happy to have learned his lesson.

“I didn’t get too angry over it. I hated to lose the money, but I learned a lot,” he said. “The next time somebody calls, I’ve graduated from that class.”

When buying or selling a timeshare, Yourtimeshare offers the following tips:

· Beware of upfront fees. Though there may be closing costs or other fees associated with purchasing a timeshare, be wary of any company that pressures you to pay any such fees upfront or before reviewing any contracts.

· Read the fine print. Especially when selling a timeshare, make sure to read the contract carefully. Find out if the company is actually selling your timeshare or simply charging you to advertise the listing.

· Start with trust. Visit http://www.yourtimeshare.net to check out the Business Review for a company before paying any money.

· Never wire cash. Credit cards offer a certain amount of fraud protection that you cannot get if you use a wire service. Walk away from any deal that requires you to pay cash or wire money, especially to locations in other countries.

· Get it in writing. Ask the salesman for all information in writing, including all fees, timing and ways the seller plans to advertise the unit.

· Check the license. Ask for licensing information for the seller’s agents, and check that information with the Real Estate Commission. Only deal with licensed brokers and ask for references.

· If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Be wary of any seller who promises a big selling price or quick turnaround. High-pressure tactics are always a red flag.

· Know where to turn. Before selling your timeshare, read the FTC’s advice on selling a timeshare and report any scams to yourtimeshare@hush.com

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit yourtimeshare.net

About Yourtimeshare:

Yourtimeshare’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. Yourtimeshare accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn Yourtimeshare Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. Yourtimeshare is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

For more info please don´t hesitate to contact us: yourtimeshare@hush.com

Consumer Matters

Cold callers Consumer Matters are offering advice for those who have been mis-sold and can help with a refund claim.

That sounds good! They have a website http://www.consumer-matters.com which was registered on 28/11/11.

Their contact details are a telephone number mentioned on the website: 0203 3840692 and a fax number which shows in the paperwork 0203 384698

Their Email is admin@consumer-matters.com

On the website there is loads of information and after the initial (cold) call with the timeshare consumer they also send through informative documents. In these documents they insist that their advice is free, so why not give them a call?

What is mentioned as well is that once you send the paperwork through and they feel you have reasons for a claim, they will tell you the costs involved…

What the website doesn’t tell you is where they are actually based and neither does it provide a registration number from the Companies House, details which should be on a website as per the regulations.

In the documents send to the consumers a note of caution is also added to the information:

“There are a number of businesses and ‘law firms’ passing themselves off as nongovernmental organisations that purport to govern and police other timeshare-related businesses as well as advise timeshare owners. Some of these are: TATOC, OTE, RDO, TCA, ITRA and Ramirez & Ramirez – although there are others. These are all privately funded and are NOT part of any government or official body. In the case of TATOC and the RDO (who also use a website called Mindtimeshare) these businesses are funded entirely by timeshare resorts and points providers – some of whom are currently the subject of litigation, themselves.”

Wow, that is Consumer Associations such as RDO and TATOC mentioned in one go with companies such as Ramirez and Ramirez and ITRA…that is scary! Not because of the warning itself, but the fact that they do not clearly see or make a difference between those providing help and advice for free and others who we know from this blog (and other forums) have taken a lot of money from consumers without result…well what can we say?

As stated above, this company appears to be new and we are still investigating about what they exactly do and the results of their services.

The fact that they cold call and their website lacks information which should be there as per the law has made us decide to publish this article and we kindly ask those contacted by Consumer Matters to tell us their experience!

Visiting Tenerife this summer?

Tenerife, one of the most popular Canary Islands is a lovely place to visit and guarantee for sunshine the whole year round. But unfortunately Tenerife is also starting to be a melting pot of different dubious companies that can turn the happy holidays into an unforgettable nightmare!

A person very well known by the police and authorities because of his dubious past has recently expanded his “dubious” businesses from Gran Canaria to Tenerife to trap more “happy holiday makers” into the web of his different questionable adventures.

This person is Eugene Kaiser, a German national based in Gran Canaria, former Anfi Group Sales Director, arrested twice by the Spanish Police in the past, and who has tried to destroy since 2003 his former employer Anfi Group, although more recently he has found the formula to profit from this timeshare company.

Since early 2000´s he has been running a number of dubious holiday club memberships: Columbus Imperial Club, Design Vacation Exchange and Voyager since 2007.

Voyager is the current dubious discount holiday club membership sold, not only in Gran Canaria, but also in Tenerife, and Norway.

The way to catch the clients for a presentation has been done through OPC’s handing out scratch cards on the streets and always falsely claiming to be promoting the island as a holiday destination on behalf of the island tourism public body.

Since 2009 Eugene Kaiser has been running a supposed Class Action scheme ReclaimGC – http://www.reclaimgc.com – as a “honey trap” to sell the costly holiday club membership Voyager – http://www.voyager-travel.net . To promote the Class Action, Kaiser has even created an online platform Claims Directive – http://www.claimsdirective.com .

About this Class Action Scheme ReclaimGC we put already a warning on our blog no so long ago: http://wp.me/p1kmoi-3q and an update on this article (http://t.co/7CsXQBX) with the worrying news that ReclaimGC is actually working together with Mason, Goodwin & Lisco (http://wp.me/p1kmoi-1K) a dubious legal consultancy.

Although initially ReclaimGC was launched from Gran Canaria to target Anfi Members, later on it has expanded to any timeshare owner who purchased in Spain, particularly since it opened an office in Tenerife. It has been working with lists of timeshare owners of other resorts obtained unlawfully, not only Anfi Members.

Gran Canaria Resorts (GC Resorts) – http://gcresorts.com and http://www.gc-resorts.com – is the latest scheme set up by Eugen Kaiser this year, acting as a traditional company that invites people to go holidays.

Gran Canaria Resorts is cold calling initially timeshare owners and pretending to be employees from good reputation timeshare companies, promising holiday accommodations at top resorts worldwide, at a discount price, and also contacting consumers that bought a bogus holiday club in general with similar offers. Once visiting their landing page on internet, they actually claim not being connected with these timeshare companies. At all!

The timeshare owners that are cold called and think they are talking to a timeshare companies employees, are being offered promotions like unlimited availability in gold crown resorts with 2 free extra holidays.

However, timeshare owners who have accepted their offer so far, have had a nasty surprise, when finally they receive an email from Gran Canaria resorts, in which they are informed that they can only book accommodation, at poor quality Canary Islands, and Thailand resorts!

In the Terms & Conditions of the contractual agreement between Gran Canaria Resorts and its clients, it is mentioned the obligation to attend a meeting at the resort where their clients will be staying. So this makes the circle complete, as the timeshare owner will most probably be presented with Voyager ( http://www.voyager-travel.net) and the ReclaimGC scheme..

So what is the conclusion out of all this? We have many timeshare consumers who have already reported the dubious dealings of the above mentioned companies; we have the testimonials of so many more about how their holidays turned into a nightmare as they lost so much money …and what about the image this creates of Tenerife and Gran Canaria?

What is the role of the authorities here? Do they care people will most probably not come back to Tenerife any longer due to this experience? Are they looking into these companies when they receive so many complaints and reports from both police and consumer offices?

Have you signed up for ReclaimGC, Voyager, Gran Canaria Resorts?

Let us know! We can help you!

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