3/8/2017 11:16:52 AM
For Immediate Release:
Throughout the country, regulators have recently received reports of a more sophisticated timeshare scam. Con artists impersonate licensed businesses in good standing to trick consumers into turning over money and then disappear without ever coming though with an interested buyer.
“Consumers are becoming savvier and doing their homework before making financial decisions. Scammers know this and are adapting their tactics by using the names of legitimate businesses to lure timeshare sellers,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “I want to remind Minnesotans to never pay an upfront fee to sell a timeshare.”
A timeshare owner may receive a phone call or email from someone who claims to be an eager buyer or an agent who promises they can sell the property at a good price –sometimes more than the property is worth.
The scam happens when the timeshare owner is asked to make an upfront payment, allegedly for closing costs, taxes, or other fees. The owner is instructed to wire funds to an offshore bank account with a promise that the money will be held in escrow until the sale is finalized.
Many times, the scammer will then disappear with the owner’s money. Sometimes, however, they will ask for yet more money for fees that have suddenly “come up.” Either way, the owner rarely sees their money again.
The Commerce Department offers Minnesotans the following tips to avoid timeshare resale scams:
Commerce is here to help
If you have a concern or complaint about a possible timeshare resale scam, contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce Securities Section at email@example.com or 651-539-1637.
You may also wish to file a complaint with the following federal agencies:
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
P: 651-539-1463 | C: 651-368-5050 | firstname.lastname@example.org