Scam alert: Beware timeshare resale ads and e-mails

Scam alert: Beware timeshare resale ads and e-mails
Scam alert: Beware timeshare resale ads and e-mails

Timeshare resales ads on websites and e-mails dangling an offer for quick cash might be tempting, but beware that many are scams.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and several state attorneys general have issued alerts cautioning consumers about selling a timeshare through a reseller and all gave similar warnings that you should know who you are dealing with and what you are getting before you sign an agreement.

It was the promise of fast cash for selling her timeshare points -- similar to frequent flyer miles -- that prompted a Consumer Ally reader to ask if the unsolicited e-mail was legitimate. The deal is tempting in this tight economy: For a $1,000 upfront fee, the agent would take her points from her Florida timeshare and sell them for others to use -- potentially netting a $2,600 profit for our reader. A sample contract attached to the e-mail detailed that the upfront fee was to cover marketing costs for 90 days.