BBB Consumer Alert: Timeshare Reseller Scam Is Operating out of Jackson, TN

  
     
August 30, 2017

Attention timeshare owners - if you receive a purchase offer for your timeshare from Jason Rice with Madison South Timeshares, beware. BBB of the Mid-South is warning consumers nationwide to be wary of purchase offers that come from this company, purportedly located in Jackson, TN. The property management company for this shopping center verified that the address being used in this scam is a vacant space in a strip mall.

BBB has fielded dozens of calls from timeshare owners inquiring about the legitimacy of offers they’ve received from Madison South Timeshares in the past week. Those inquiring told BBB that they were searching for timeshare resellers online and found Madison South Timeshares’s website.  The company subsequently contacted them with an offer to buy their timeshare, asking only that the owners pay a couple hundred dollars in upfront fees for title searches and taxes. Once those fees are paid, the timeshare owners will supposedly receive the funds from the sale via certified check or bank deposit. For timeshare owners desperate to unload timeshares they no longer want or need, it sounds like a great offer.

Madison South Timeshares emailed “Offer to Purchase” documents to the timeshare owners. Although the emails come from Jason Rice, the offers to purchase are signed by Amanda Billings, whose title is listed as Owner/Officer of Madison South Timeshares. The documents forwarded to BBB are virtually identical - all list the buyer as Michelle Lewis and most offer the same amount - $21,600.

One Arkansas timeshare owner said her husband was searching online for a way to get rid of their timeshare. “We will give it away, we just want it gone,” she told BBB. Jason Rice told them he already had a buyer lined up and sent them an email offer of $21,600 from Michelle Lewis. According to that offer letter, the couple would have to pay $173.50 in fees upfront. It’s a small amount the couple says they would gladly pay to be rid of the timeshare.

A Hixson, Tennessee, man received a call with an offer to buy his timeshare in Maui, HI. Again, the offer was from Michelle Lewis for $21,600.

A Stockton, California, woman was also contacted by Jason Rice to sell her timeshare at Mountain Retreat Resort in Arnold, California for $21,600. She was asked to send $150 via Western Union to someone in Florida. She did not send the money but called BBB instead. 

And a South Carolina man who called BBB said he was not in the market to sell his timeshare and didn’t know how the company got his email address. The buyer and amount on his offer letter were identical to the others.

If you want to sell your deeded timeshare, and a company approaches you offering to resell it for you, go into skeptic mode. Here’s what to do:

  • Hang up. If you receive any unsolicited call of this type, it is most likely a scam.
  • Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the reseller.
    • Check out the company at bbb.org.
    • Contact the state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the state where the reseller is located. Ask if any complaints are on file. You also can search online for complaints.
    • Ask the salesperson for all information in writing, including all conditions of the sale and any promises or statements made by the salesperson.
    • Ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to buy and sell real estate where your timeshare is located.
      • Verify licensing information with that state’s licensing board.
      • Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents, and ask for references from satisfied clients.
      • Ask about fees and timing. It’s preferable to do business with a reseller that takes its fee after the timeshare is sold.
        • If you must pay a fee in advance, ask about refunds.
        • Get refund policies and promises in writing.
        • Never pay fees by wire transfer or prepaid debit/gift cards.
        • Report any timeshare reseller scam or scam attempt to: