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Been Scammed by a Timeshare resale company?
This Timeshare Advice article discusses your next steps in demanding a refund from the upfront fee company that scammed you provided to you free by the Timeshare Users Group!

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Timeshare Scam Retaliation

Judi Kozlowski -  www.JudiKoz.com

In the timeshare resale market today, it is pretty much a guarantee that you will encounter an upfront resale scammer if you are attempting to sell or rent your timeshare.  Sadly these scams have become so popular, they were listed in the top 10 scams of 2010 by the Better Business Bureau!  Hopefully you have read the TUG Scams and Fairy Tales advice article, but if not and you are the victim of an upfront fee scam, your options are limited but you do indeed have options!

Step 1: Send a Letter demanding a Refund

In many cases, the squeaky wheel always gets the grease, so if you are persistent in calling and emailing and sending actual letters, you stand a chance of getting a refund!

This sample letter was provided by Judi Kozlowski, a licensed timeshare resale broker who has been in the industry for many years and fights to shut down these scammers with her organization the Licensed Timeshare Resale Brokers Association.  http://ltrba.com

We urge anyone who is the victim of an upfront fee scam, or those who have simply just been contacted by someone who fits the profile of an upfront fee scammer to report them to both your state's Attorney Generals office, as well as the office in the state they reside in if its not your own.  This sample letter can also be used as a great "checklist" of places to report scams, if indeed you do not receive your refund in a timely fashion!  

Sample Letter to send to a Timeshare Upfront Fee scammer:

Dear (Insert Business Name Here),

We will be reporting you to the following people if you do not return our money.
What you have done is fraud.

The Attorney Generals Office in (the State you live in), (the State the timeshare is in) and the( State the Scammer is in).
We are also calling the police in (same as above).
We are going to the http://www.nacaa.net/consumerinfo.htm and report you to every agency mentioned on this site.
We are going to report you to our (VISA/MC/AMEX/Discover) and have them report your fraud to your merchant account.
We are going to the following sites to report your scam:

You may want to look at the ripoffreport. They will put you on there and every search engine in the world will pull up your website.  This ripoff site is owned by someone who has no scruples. Once the information goes on you will have to pay him big bucks to do anything to the information. Scroll to the bottom and read how you will be extorted to get the information off the site.

We do not want any phone calls from you. All we want is our money returned. You have lied, misled and committed fraud. We demand a refund to our credit card immediately.

note: While TUG certainly cannot guarantee the success or failure of the above letter, it certainly gives you an option in which to attempt to obtain a refund from the company that scammed you out of the upfront fee. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!  Remember, these companies mislead and lied to you in the first place, if your initial request for a refund goes unanswered or is denied, this letter may be a last resort for you to get your hard earned money back!

Step 2: Contact your Credit card immediately and dispute the charge!

Note that many of these organizations will try to drag out the "process" for 60 to 90 days, knowing full well that after that period has expired, you have no option to dispute the charge with your credit card even if you know full well you have been scammed!  Do not let this simple tactic rob you of one of the most effective ways to get your money refunded!

Step 3: Follow through with the reporting of the scam company to each and every one of the listed organizations in the sample letter above!

It is important at the very least to have your complaint on file with the AG's office in your home state and the scammers home state.  The reason for this is if that AG actually does go after the organization, you can only obtain a refund if you file a report!

A more important reason to complete step 3 is that many of these scammers continue to exist merely because most people just give up and dont follow through with the reporting of the scam and thus they fly under the radar of most law enforcement agencies until enough people report the scam!  Remember that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of these Scam organizations out there, law enforcement simply doesnt have the time or resources to go after them all, so the ones with the most complaints are going to get the most attention!

The Final Word!

These scams simply arent going away, they have been alive and well for as long as Timeshares have existed in the first place, they are so prolific because so many folks continue to believe the "too good to be true" pitches that these scammers have perfected over the years!  It is truly our hope that everyone who reads this article will at the very least make an effort to obtain a refund and report these scammers to the authorities!  They continue to exist because so many folks just give up!!!

Feel free to stop by our Timeshare Online Community Forums if you want to ask specific questions, with more than 65,000 other Timeshare owners and experts, no question goes unanswered!

Why become a TUG member?

There is an extended TUG resort reviews database here on this web site available only to TUG members. There are over 5000 resorts covered by this database now and growing weekly. The reviews also include pictures of the resorts, general resort information and a list of owners' email addresses who are willing to answer additional questions regarding the resorts not covered by the detailed reviews.   This is a quick way to see how our members rate the resorts which they have actually stayed at. It has become a valuable source of information to use when planning for exchanges.


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