BBB alerts consumers to multiple timeshare scams and timeshare frauds working hard to steal money from unsuspecting timeshare owners. BBB has uncovered numerous instances of these timeshare fraud schemes – all claiming to be located right here in Middle Tennessee. These con artists contact timeshare owners through unsolicited phone calls with trumped up promises of reselling the timeshare by deceiving the consumer with claims that they have a buyer for the property.
Consumers who respond to these shysters are told they must pay a fee, usually ranging from $2000 – $4000, prior to completion of the agreement. Upon receipt of payment, the broker contacts the owner again stating taxes have to be paid on the transaction, which usually ranges from $2000- $3000. In some cases the broker calls a third time asking for a transaction fee for another $2000- $3000. On one occasion the broker offered to pay $100 toward the transaction fee as a means to make the offer sound legit since the owner had to make several payments and began questioning why more money was necessary.
One consumer said, “I Entered into an Exclusive Resale Agreement with New World Asset Connections (hereinafter NWAA) to sell my timeshare at Velas Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. My upfront payment wired to Mexico would be $5,220 to cover Transfer Fees- buyer to repay seller for all closing costs upon closing. Later I was told that Mexico wanted a 25% tax ($12,180); then I was hit with $5,979 for commission and closing costs; then the Mexican bank holding all the money wanted 11% as a fee ($7,356); and now NWAA wants $7,000 more as a customs fee to wire the money to me from Mexico. I have wired $30,735.69 to Mexico, like an idiot, and now I can’t even find NWAA as a company doing business in Tennessee.”
Another said, “I was asked for money up front for the contract. They said I would get it back with the sale of the timeshare and that the cheques would come later this month. They now want more for deed transfer which I would also get back later. I feel pressured and have not paid the second amount. I stupidly paid the first amount. I did some checking on Internet (which I should have done sooner) and see they are very questionable. I have the supposed contract but now believe it’s worthless. I would like my money back. I paid with credit card $3500 American. The date off contract is July 21. They were trying to get me to pay another $4600 Canadian yesterday, August 13 but the banks were thankfully down. I will not be stupid enough again.”
BBB visited each of the addresses where the following timeshare resellers claimed to be:
Blue Ridge International Sales – 530 Mainstream Dr, Ste 272, Nashville, TN
Title Deed Auction and Exchange – 4636 Lebanon Pike, Ste 341, Hermitage, TN
New World Asset Connection – 134 Second Ave South, Nashville, TN
The actual locations for two were parking lots and the third used a UPS Store.
BBB also checked with the State of Tennessee, and none of them have a state business license nor do they have the required Tennessee Real Estate License to transact this type of sale. In Tennessee, it is unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to engage in or conduct, to advertise or claim to be engaging in or conducting the business, or acting in the capacity of a real estate broker, affiliate broker, time-share salesperson or acquisition agent, within this state, without first obtaining a license as a broker, affiliate broker, time-share salesperson or acquisition agent.
Each of these timeshare scams has been awarded an F Rating with BBB. If you have done business with Blue Ridge International Sales, Title Deed Auction and Exchange, or New World Asset Connection BBB would like to speak with you. Please call 615.250.4223.
BBB advises timeshare owners to be wary of brokers who call out of the blue, ask for advance fees and say they have prospective buyers. Many times, consumers pay the fees and never hear back from the company. In addition:
Use a Business You Can Trust – Make sure the timeshare reseller you use has a good reputation and a good rating with BBB.
Confirm Licensing Requirements – Some timeshare resellers will use fake addresses or PO boxes in order to mislead timeshare owners. Confirm where the company is located and in what states it does business. Ask if the salespeople are licensed to sell real estate and verify this with the licensing board.
Check the Facts/Figures and Get Everything in Writing – Find out if the business charges a commission. Do they handle the entire closing and provide escrow services? Do they charge an up-front listing or advertising fee? What does it cover and is it refundable?
Be Wary of Upfront Fees – Many complainants to BBB were burned by companies charging an advanced fee for services or were told that they just had to pay closing costs and that timeshare would be taken off their hands. Consider opting for a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the timeshare is sold.
Don’t Fall for the Hard Sell or an Offer That Sounds Too Good To Be True! – Don’t agree to anything over the phone but instead ask the salesperson to send you written materials. Always take the time to think it over and don’t be pressured. Unscrupulous timeshare resellers may claim that your property is in demand and they can sell it immediately. Unfortunately, these are often empty promises.