A 34-year-old scammer from Florida, has been sentenced after he conned 50 timeshare owners, also from Florida out of thousands of dollars each. Brandon Welsh has been sentenced to 11 months in a federal prison for setting up and executing a re-sale scam where he promised timeshare owners, he could sell them quickly in exchange for a fee.
Welsh operated two companies, Premier Rental Solutions and Paramount Property Professionals which vastly exaggerated their ability to sell timeshares and claimed to have buyers ready to purchase. Two detectives from Florida’s Orlando Department, investigated Welsh and his activities for more than a year and discovered he had conned many elderly victims out of thousands of dollars. Welsh misled owners into thinking he could sell their timeshares quickly and all they had to do was pay a fee for marketing purposes, he then lied to victims telling them he had extensively marketed their timeshares. When victims complained, he promised to refund fees paid to his company, something he did not do. Welsh was sentenced to 11 months and ordered to pay $87,000 to his victims and was also found guilty of grand thefts of $20,000.
Timeshare resale scams
Unfortunately, timeshare resale scams are common, and they target people who already own timeshare and are desperate to get rid of them. The problem is many owners are under the illusion their timeshare is worth something in the first place. Something a timeshare resort will not tell you, is that a timeshare depreciates in value quicker than a brand-new car. What you will be told in a timeshare presentation is mostly far from the truth and people are led to believe they are investing in a timeshare which they can either sell on at a later date and make a profit on or that when they have finished using or no longer have use for it will be able to sell it and not make a loss on what they initially laid out to purchase it. These are simply untrue facts and are statements made by resorts to persuade people to purchase, the resorts know that if they told potential buyers the full truth about what they were purchasing, most people would not bother as they simply do not offer good value for money. The reality is they are a financial drain, due to the maintenance fees, and most owners end up regretting ever having owned one. This is not to say that there is no market whatsoever for timeshares resales, there is a fairly buoyant market in the U.S compared to the UK, where many owners find themselves listing their timeshares for pennies compared to what they initially paid out.
Timeshare resale scams are easy to spot.
In tough economic times, like we currently find ourselves in, offloading a timeshare and possibly making a profit is a tempting prospect. However, the sad fact is that most people will never see a return on a timeshare and anyone claiming to be able to get one is probably trying to scam you. Timeshare owners are often targeted by scammers due to their trusting nature and desperation to be free from the financial strain that comes with them, but do not be fooled and if an individual or company contacts you, look out for the following warning signs:
- Be wary of anyone making ‘too good to be true’ promises. A scammer may tell you your timeshare is a valuable location and worth money because of this, and they have buyers lined up. This is rarely the case and just a sales tactic to get you hooked in on their con.
- Never pay upfront fees. If an offer is legitimate, why would you have to pay someone for something you are selling? Or have to pay fees before a sale had gone through?
- Research any company fully before engaging with them. Ask them how they got your details and if they cannot provide you with a satisfactory answer, hang up, they are more than likely acting in bad faith.