Morris sensed something was wrong and contacted Better Business Bureau.
“A person called last week and wanted to know if we wanted a quote on our vacation timeshare in Mexico,” he said.
That was the start of what he thought was an unrealistic conversation. It wasn’t but a day later that he received an email with a proposed offer of three times what he thought was the value of the property share Morris and his wife own.
“She came up with what we believe is an unrealistic offer for the property,” Morris said.
According to Morris, the company, in San Francisco, sent a letter stating the international quote was ready for their review. “Our Agents has (sic) been working hard to get a fair quote for you,” it read.
International Corporate Event appears to be working to convince timeshare owners interested buyers are looking for properties. Morris said he was told to move forward with the sale, the company required upfront payment to cover taxes, fees and other charges. In addition, the company said it required a copy of the ownership document from the resort, proper contract number and the correct legal names.
Based on the explanation and BBB’s experience with similar offers from other companies in the past, we predict once the unsuspecting seller has paid, typically thousands of dollars, s/he is unable to get in contact with any representative.
BBB tried contacting International Corporate Events by phone, email, fax and mail. There was no response as of this writing.
BBB recommends never sending money to an unknown business and offers the following tips when selling a timeshare:
• Beware of upfront fees. Though there may be closing costs or other fees associated when selling a timeshare, be wary of any business that pressures you to pay fees upfront or before reviewing any contracts.
• Never wire money. Credit cards offer a certain amount of fraud protection that you cannot get if you use a wire service. Walk away from any deal that requires you to pay cash or wire money, especially to another country.
• Read the fine print. When selling a timeshare, make sure to read the contract carefully. Find out if the company is actually selling your timeshare or simply charging you to advertise the listing.
• Check the license. Ask for licensing information for the seller’s agents and check that information with the Real Estate Commission. Only deal with licensed brokers and always ask for references.
• If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of any seller who promises a big selling price or quick turnaround. High-pressure sales tactics are always a red flag. Always check out a business first at bbb.org/search and report any scams to Better Business Bureau.