BBB Warns of Timeshare Scam Using Local Company Name

  
     
December 22, 2016

BBB Serving Canton Region & Greater West Virginia is warning consumers of a timeshare resale scam using Resort Owners Services, LLC name and former address.

BBB has heard from consumers in PA, MI, NY and WI stating they were contacted by a representative from Resort Owners Services of 10150 East Pike, Cambridge, OH to purchase their timeshares. The consumers were given paperwork to sign and then asked to wire monies to a Mexican Bank to cover title searches, closing costs, etc. Once the transfers were comlete, correspondence ceased and/or no more information could be received. BBB did note different title companies were used for the consumers. One consumer reports a loss of $22,500 in the scam.

BBB has been in contact with David W. T. Carroll, the statutory agent for Resort Owners Services, LLC and the their legal counsel. He has stated the legitimate company was an internal organization that provided services to a family of membership campground resorts, but ceased operations in 2012 and has not been at the Cambridge address since that time. He stated the company never entered into any contracts with the public.

Your BBB offers the following tips for selling a timeshare:

Find a Trustworthy Business. Check out bbb.org for reliable timeshare resellers. Look at the business's complaints and reviews to be sure they are trustworthy. Do your own online research for the company name and any contact names to see what other consumers are saying.

Make Sure There is a Physical Address. Do not do business with a timeshare reseller that does not provide a street address; a P.O. Box is not sufficient. Make sure the business supplies backup contact information. Be sure to confirm the business's address and where they are licensed to sell real estate with the state licensing board or state's real estate commission. 

Look at the Fees. Avoid businsses that ask for an "appraisal" fee or closing costs upfront. Be aware of businesses that give you a large fee and then slightly decrease it to seem like a "good deal". Search for a business that will allow you to pay for the fees after the timeshare has been sold. Never wire money and be sure to ask what fees will be included in the cost and if they are refundable. 

Do Not Be Pressured. Do not agree to anything that is presented over the phone. Before agreeing to anyting, take your time to think about your decision. Ask the salesperson to send you written information. Do not be pressured by a salesperson that claims your property can be sold immediately.

Read the Contract Carefully. The contract should include: what services the broker provides, how much and when the costs should be paid, a length of time to sell the timeshare, and the refund and guarantee policy. Make sure the contract states who is responsible for the sale. 

Too Good To Be True. Know the estimated value of the timeshare before bringing it to be sold. If the deal the business offers sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Report It. If you think you have been a part of a timeshare scam, report it with BBB's Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker, and file a complaint with BBB (bbb.org), the FTC (www.ftc.gov/complaint) and your state Attorney General office.

Start With Trust. For reliable information, lists of BBB Accredited Businesses by industry and BBB Business Reviews you can trust on local businesses, visit www.bbb.org