FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Timeshare Resale Scam Highlights Importance of LICENSED Timeshare Brokers
Avoiding Timeshare Scams
Tampa, Florida – November 11, 2011: As news of Jennifer Kirk’s massive timeshare resale scam comes to light, it serves as a stark reminder of the importance of conducting extensive company research and utilizing only licensed timeshare brokers when attempting to buy, rent or sell timeshare.
Prosecutors in the case say Jennifer Kirk, a Florida-based telemarketer bilked more than 20,000 victims out of more than $30-million dollars in her nationwide timeshare resale scam. On Thursday June 30 Kirk pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis, Ill.
In the nationwide scam, Kirk’s telemarketers (identifying themselves as representatives of Creative Vacation Solutions or Universal Marketing Solutions) cold called timeshare owners saying they had a timeshare buyer waiting. They just needed money to cover title or closing fees – often $1,200 or more – and the money would be refunded after the sale, they promised timeshare owners.
But the company pocketed the fees, prosecutors concluded, without any attempt to sell or market the timeshare interests. The Palm Beach Post reports that at one point Kirk’s scam was so lucrative she raked in an estimated $4 million a month!
As evidenced with this unfortunate case, the timeshare resale industry is rife with scam artists intent on taking advantage of timeshare owners who, in their desperation to sell timeshare quickly, may not conduct appropriate research. So what can you do to protect yourself from timeshare scammers?
- Choose Licensed Brokers
- Check for BBB Accreditation
- Contact Current or Previous Clients
- Research Online Forums or Complaint Boards
Your protection all comes down to one thing: research, research, research. Make sure the company has a valid company address – not just a PO Box. Make sure they’re BBB Accredited and in good ranking. Choose only licensed (and thereby state-regulated) real estate or timeshare brokers. Finally, determine the fair market value for your timeshare (the cost that it’s actually selling at) and adjust your expectations.
Do not expect to make back what you invested in the cost of your timeshare, especially if you purchased directly from the resort or developer. Rather, understand that in order to sell timeshare in today’s resale market, you’ve got to be competitive. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
About Timeshare Broker Sales
Timeshare Broker Sales is a timeshare resale company that has assembled a group of dedicated timeshare experts with more than two decades of timeshare industry experience. All of our agents are licensed REALTORS® and timeshare experts, committed to giving our clients the highest level of value and service. Our experts help timeshare owners sell timeshare with No Upfront Fees, as well as help buyers purchase the perfect timeshare resale at deep discounts.