Florida Attorney General Continuing to Crack Down
Written by: Traver
Over the past couple of months we have brought many stories to our readers about the Florida Attorney General and other officials in Florida to crack down on timeshare resale companies who have been reported by consumers as fraudulent. Since Florida timeshare resorts are where the concept began in the United States it makes sense this is where the highest density of resorts is located, since this area has the highest concentration of timeshare resorts criminals have also found it is a great place to set up their operations as it makes them sound more legit. Fortunately for consumers the Florida Attorney General has recognized many of these companies as being fraudulent and misleading and has conducted several investigations throughout this year. In the year of 2010 consumers have filed around 8,500 complaints against fraudulent timeshare resale companies, more than any previous year. The increased number of complaints has prompted the AG to take action leading the shutting down of many of these companies.
According to the MiamiHerald.com, Last week the AG decided to make unannounced visits to sixty-seven of the companies which had been sited by consumers as unscrupulous. During the raids the AG unlicensed timeshare sales people, many unregistered business, as well as two people who already had outstanding arrest warrants. To date efforts from the Attorney General have resulted in “$125,000 in fines, 137 cease-and-desist orders, two lawsuits and six subpoenas, which are in addition to 49 ongoing investigations into these companies and nine active lawsuits.” (MiamiHerald.com). In an attempt to make themselves sound more legit many of fraudulent timeshare resale companies are beginning to mention the Florida Attorney General in their sales pitch to put the consumers mind at ease, a very bold move by someone who is attempting to defraud an innocent consumer. Recognizing the depth of this problem there has been a website set up for consumers, allowing them another avenue to report these scam artists, if you have been contacted by a party claiming to be a Florida Timeshare resale company who sounds suspicious please visit www.myfloridalegal.com/timeshares to get the latest updates and file a report if needed.
Unfortunately it does not look as if these types of scams will be going away anytime soon, however these people are relatively easy to spot if you know how they operate. Most times these companies purchase lists of timeshare owners along with their contact information, calling them at home to ask if they are interested in selling a timeshare. The operative normally says there is a buyer waiting to purchase the exact unit the person owns, they just need to the owner to send a “title research” fee or some other made up fee in order to start the process. Once the owner sends the money they rarely if ever hear back from the company again. If you receive an unsolicited call from a timeshare resale company we would recommend to end the conversation and hang up the phone as quickly as possible as they are most likely trying to get your money.
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