Timeshare owners across the country should be cautious when it comes to selling their unwanted timeshares.
Scammers often call consumers offering to sell their timeshare.
A timeshare representative would state they have a buyer and all the consumer needs to pay upfront are the closing costs, which normally range from $1500 to $2500. The representative would then say the consumer will get the check in the mail for their timeshare as soon as the consumer wires the money to them.
June 6th, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the filing of a major timeshare consumer protection case as part of the joint multi-state, multi-national law enforcement initiative coordinated by the Federal Trade Commission.
The case announced by Attorney General Bob Ferguson involves Jonathan and Christine Gibbs of Olympia, Washington. The Gibbs claim to have handled over 30,000 timeshare transfers nationwide and at least 1,500 in Washington state.
The majority of the victims were elderly consumers and consumers who desperately wanted to sell their timeshares.
Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim to timeshare scams:
- Check out the company before you agree to anything. See if the Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies in the company's home state have complaints, then search online for complaints.
- Deal only with licensed real estate brokers or agents.
- Get all terms in writing before you agree to anything.
- Consider doing business only with someone who gets paid after the timeshare is sold.
- Be alert to a repeat scam.
As always, you can file a business complaint here with our office: http://www.atg.wa.gov/FileAComplaint.aspx