2/13/2013

Are You a California Owner of A Timeshare Property? Beware of Fraud

Long Beach boatsTimeshares . . . can be a flexible vacation option for many people.  It's a form of property ownership shared with other owners, usually for resort condominiums and vacation home purposes, and can often be utilized in various states and even countries, and offer cheaper accommodations than staying in a hotel or B&B for a week.  The downside is, timeshare ownership may be tough to sell in a down market; there just isn't a huge demand for it when money is tight and/or the market values have declined.

The California Department of Real Estate has just issued a warning and consumer alert concerning the latest wire transfer fraud schemes being perpetrated on timeshare owners. 

Beware of websites, or any other marketers, promising and to buy or help you sell or rent a timeshare, after an upfront fee is paid.  Scammers are requesting payment by money order, wire transfer, bank cashier's check, or upfront cash by the victim, after which they disappear and no further sale or rental of the timeshare takes place.  Vacation timeshares are popular in California, Hawaii and Florida, but properties owned in Mexico are popular targets right now, so avoid dealing with telephone calls or e-mails.

Do not fall for something that sounds "too good to be true", and the DRE advises the owner to contact the timeshare resort developer concerning the communications he/she may be receiving.  The DRE states that amounts wired by gullible owners range from $3250 to $85,000.

Beware of any requests for upfront money to be wired to anyone's account for work not yet done!

Here is more information about who to contact and what you can do if you have been scammed (i.e., the California Attorney General; local district attorney and law enforcement; FTC; FBI, and others.

And, please be aware that in California, proper licensure for upfront fee payment must be obtained.

Please don't let yourself be taken in by fraudulent schemes.

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