SWAT teams raided two timeshare telemarketing operations in Orlando this month, accused of stealing at least $1 million over the last six to eight months while not providing any services.
The sham timeshare companies were located in one office, operating under the name M and I Marketing Concepts and Maximum Properties, according to Wftv.com.
In that particular case, police said the companies convinced customers to send $1,800 to $2,200 for closing costs, but then pocketed the money and the timeshares were never sold.
â€œThe majority of legitimate real estate transactions do not require an upfront fee to try to sell or rent a property,â€ said Budowski. â€œIf a company does that, it should be a huge red flag.â€
WFTV reported investigators believe there are as many as 50 cases of unlicensed timeshare companies currently under investigation.
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â€œUnfortunately many timeshare owners are getting taken advantage of multiple times,â€ she said. â€œI have seen those who have been misled or coerced into buying a timeshare and then later desperate to get out of their contract, attempt to sell their timeshare, only to be taken advantage of by a resale company.â€