With the enormous growth of the timeshare industry since its introduction to the market, this has become an ideal target of many scammers. There are already hundreds of people who has fallen victim to this kind of frauds and the usual victims are those owners who are eager to get out of their timeshares.
Such is the latest case of fraud in Charlotte, North Carolina where a retiree Tom Ellison is the victim. Last summer, a Fort Mill company tried to get him to buy a $6,000 vacation club membership. He attended the presentation and decided it wasn't something that they wanted to do. But an agent for the company, Time to Go Travel asked Ellison if he owned a timeshare. The agent said if they could sell the timeshare for two or three times what they paid for it, would they be interested? Ellison said yes and then the agent had his timeshare appraised for what later turned out to be a highly inflated price of $23,900.
Ellison paid over $6,000 for the vacation club membership as the agent promised all his money back, if he didn't sell his timeshare by December. But the sale never happened and as a matter of fact, Time to Go Travel cleaned out its Fort Mill office and disappeared, thus, leaving Ellison clinging to a verbal promise of a refund.
At this point of time, there are still thousands of owners trying to get rid of their timeshares. Some of them even hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart just to get rid of such property. However, scammers may work in various and unsuspecting leaving their victims hanging to a promise that never came true. As the Better Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy said, most of the companies doing business this way have a severe disconnect between what they're telling you verbally and what is in writing.