Scam Alert: Targeting People Looking to Sell or Rent Timeshares

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RENO, NV - There's still a few months of summer left, meaning you have a bit more time to squeeze in another vacation, but just when you're getting ready to relax scammers may on the prowl looking to take your money.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning people to be on the lookout for companies that claim they can quickly sell or rent your timeshare for you. This comes after the the FTC announced settlements with Universal Timeshare, Resort Property Depot, and Resort Resolution Trust. All three companies reportedly took thousands of dollars in upfront fees from consumers and made false claims about their services in telephone pitches to timeshare owners. Some people paid as much as $4,000 in so-called taxes, closing costs and processing fees to these companies and got nothing in return.

The FTC offers a few tips to help people avoid one of these scams:

- Check the company out before you agree to pay them. See if the state attorney general, local consumer protection agencies, or the Better Business Bureau in the company's home state have complaints about them on file.

- Deal only with licensed real estate brokers or agents.

- Make sure to get all terms in writing. That includes services the company will perform, fees and commissions. If a company says you have to act now or you might miss out on a buyer, it's not a company you want to do business with.

- It might be wise to only work with a company that gets paid after the timeshare is sold.

- Never wire money or pay in cash.

You also want to be alert to a repeat scam. If a company offers to help get your money back from a timeshare resale scam, but wants you to pay them before they do anything for you, walk away.