Timeshare Fraud

Over the years my clients and subscribers have often contacted me with many different questions regarding their timeshares. Three of the most common questions are, “how can I get a really good timeshare exchange,” “how can I sell/rent my timeshare” and “I’ve been contacted by a company that says they can sell/rent my timeshare for big money. Can I trust them?” It’s the 3rd question that most people are sucked into that is timeshare fraud.

While there are not as many resale companies that are committing timeshare fraud as in the past, there are still plenty and they are getting more creative in their pitch.

Recently a client of mine contacted me regarding this. Below is our email thread to help you not get pulled into this kind of timeshare fraud. While I’d love to expose the name of the company they were dealing with, I felt it prudent for me to change the names of all involved.
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Hi Jeff,

Hope you are doing well.  My boyfriend, “Robert”, and I bought a timeshare from you back in Nov 2015 at the “Grand XYZ Resort” after upgrading from “your sister resort”. We had someone recently contact us about buying some weeks from us from a group called “Platinum Planet Travel Group LLC” out of Colorado.  We have not sold or rented any units yet so are very leery of getting scammed.  Have you heard of this group and how do we go about confirming they are a legitimate/honorable company to deal with and not timeshare fraud?

We are getting married next year and are planning our reception in Cabo.  We are also working with one of the above guys affiliates from a company named MEG-CMD to reserve a suite for some of our group but their deal seems too good to be true (i.e. they said we could rent the 4 bdrm penthouse for 7 days in Feb 2018 for only $4920 USD).  Since they are both affiliated with each other we are growing leery of the deals we are being offered so we reaching out for any advice you might be able to provide on the sale of some weeks and reserving either the 2brm or 4 bdrm penthouse suites.

Kind regards,

Kristie

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Many people are taken in by this timeshare fraud simply because of the official sounding name of the company and the LLC at the end of it. Don’t fall for this. Below is my response.

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Hi Kristie,

Congrats on your engagement. Cabo and Grand XYZ resort are great places to have a reception, especially in Feb.

As to your questions. I’d be very careful about all of this, especially if they contacted you first. You’ll have to really do some due diligence on your own. I’d check them out on the BBB. Also, I checked their website: “http://platinumplanettravelgroupllc.com.” Not a bad looking site but I checked and it’s less than a year old.

I’d ask them how long they’ve been in business how long they have had that site just to see if they shoot you straight. Your best bet for renting out your timeshare or renting someone else’s is Redweek. They are legit.

Now you can do me a favor if you don’t mind.

I have a facebook page called the timeshare expert. Click Here. Would you please go there, and any timeshare friends you may have, and like my page? If you could also like a few of my posts and leave a comment or two, that would be great.

Thanks and you can contact me anytime even though I’m retired from timeshare. Let me know how this turns out and I’ll use it as an example of what or what not to do on my blog.

All the best,

Jeff Pierce-The Timeshare Expert

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It’s very easy to check the age of a website. You just google “how old is this website” and click on the links provided. Many of the timeshare fraud resale companies frequently change or create new websites and company names to stay ahead of the law.

Here are the very interesting results that Kristie found after doing just a little research.

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Hi Jeff,

We might have a cautionary tale for your website.  I had a friend do some digging and she found that the 3 executives posted on “Platinum Planet Travel Group LLC” have pictures pulled from the internet.  The picture of the CEO is actually a real estate agent in Los Angeles and the other two pictures are also not who they say they are.

Robert asked them to explain this and they said they would check with their IT group to see how their website was fraudulently used.  We are definitely not moving forward with them.

They also gave a name and number to someone that supposedly works at the Grand XYZ sales department, an “Arturo Mandelon.”  I had a lengthy conversation with him yesterday and he seemed to be legit but haven’t been able to confirm he really does work there or if his is just really good at the scam talk.

I also checked the BBB in CO, but they weren’t listed.

I’d be happy to talk to you further if we want to post this to warn others.
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I checked and “Arturo Mandelon” actually does work for the Grand XYZ resort in a minor sales capacity so he could speak knowledgeably about the resort. This however, does not give any credence to the company that contacted Kristie and Robert. “Arturo” may be related to someone there.

Here’s Kristie’s last email:
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Interestingly, my friend looked at the website again and they pulled down the pictures of the executives.
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So Caveat Emptor when it comes to renting or selling your timeshare. I’ve found in the past that these timeshare fraud resale companies are truly the scum of the earth and their representatives will say anything to get you to sign and send money.

I know that many timeshare owners are frustrated with their product. They are confused not only on how to use it at their home resort, but also, and especially, on how to exchange it through RCI or Interval International.

When you add that they are also paying a yearly HOA and membership fee to RCI or Interval International and they become easy prey to the timeshare fraud rental/resale companies.

Many timeshares will only sell for a fraction of the cost of the original purchase. Rather than taking an enormous financial loss a better solution is to learn to use your timeshare properly…whether at your home resort or through the exchange system.

The best thing a timeshare owner can do for themselves is to first learn how to use it at their home resort. There is more to it than one thinks. To do this, call your Owner Services Department and spend as much time on the phone as it takes to really get to know what you can and cannot do with your ownership.

Your original salesperson likely knew very little about the use and exchange of your timeshare. The commission only salesperson studies sales techniques, not rules and regulations and very likely does not own there.

The staff of the Owner Services Department at your resort are salaried and aren’t interested in sales. They are interested in making the timeshare owners happy, a tough job since they have to clean up the mistakes and outright lies the salespeople make.

While learning the ins and outs of your home resort, you’ll also learn the first steps needed to do an exchange. To help you out I’ve created a FREE Timeshare Exchange Checklist . If you’re going to use either RCI or Interval International you’ll want these 7 valuable tips.  Click Here Now for your FREE checklist.

Finally, if you’re set on selling your timeshare I’ve written a report called “The 10 Biggest Mistakes When Selling Your Timeshare” that you can download for free by Clicking Here.

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