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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Transfer Smart Alert: AG Kroger Warns Oregonians about Unscrupulous Timeshare Scams

As the number of owners trying to get out of their timeshares is increasing every year, fraudulent resale activities also tend to surface. Meanwhile, in Oregon, Attorney General John Kroger warns its citizens to be wary of unscrupulous offers to sell timeshare properties.

There are reports from property owners about dishonest companies with legitimate-sounding names, such as International Timeshare Consolidators (ITC). Such companies mislead consumers by offering to help to sell their vacation properties. While posing as an agent or broker, they will produce an appraisal or offer a very generous bid for the timeshare or vacation property. But before the sale is finalized, the consumer will be told that they owe taxes or administrative fees. Once the property owner has paid the fees, the broker or agent will vanish without a trace.

Unfortunately, it can be almost impossible to locate the culprit. According to the BBB, the address ITC deceitfully provided to consumers has received stacks of undeliverable mail, and countless visits from stunned customers. If you are a timeshare owner and someone contacts you to offer assistance with the sale of your property, there are some precautions to reduce the risk of falling for a scam.

As a general rule, do not give your credit card number or other personal information over the phone. Be wary of companies that charge up-front fees and consider opting for a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the timeshare is sold. Try to do also your research before transacting business with any company and compare their offers to industry competition. Moreover, ask if the company’s salespeople are licensed to sell vacation properties where your timeshare is located. You can also verify this with the State Real Estate Agency licensee search.

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