Youngstown BBB warns of timeshare scam

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to a problem business using the address of a legitimate business in Youngstown.

The BBB says DCM Resort Properties LLC has been contacting people across the country who currently have timeshares for sale and offering to purchase the timeshare for significantly more than what the timeshare is actually worth.

The company then asks the person to wire money as a deposit to fund the transaction. One person told the BBB that he was asked to wire money to an address in Mexico.

The website for DCM Resort Properties LLC, dcmresortpropertiesllc.com, displays the address of 721 Boardman Poland Rd., Youngstown, Ohio 44512 and a phone number of 330-423-0403. This address is the location of the legitimate DCM Resort Properties LLC and Handel Investments LLC, which are managed by David Handel.

The BBB was notified by attorneys representing both DCM Resort Properties and Handel Investments that neither entity buys or sells timeshares.

“We often think of personal identity theft, but in this instance, a business can be a victim as well. BBB urges consumers to use caution when considering any unsolicited offer and research any business prior to signing a contract or sending money,” said local BBB President Carol Potter. “This offer is especially troubling because not only are the con artists using the information of a legitimate business, but once a consumer sends money through a wire transfer, there is no way to recoup those funds.”

BBB recommends that if you are thinking of selling your timeshare, it is important to use a dependable reselling business. Timeshare owners should use these tips when looking to sell their property:

  • Find a Trustworthy Business: Check out bbb.org for reliable timeshare resellers. Look at the business’s complaints and reviews to be sure they are trustworthy.
  • Make Sure There is a Physical Address: Do not do business with a timeshare reseller that does not provide a street address; a P.O. Box is not sufficient. Make sure the business supplies backup contact information. Be sure to confirm the business’s address and where they are licensed to sell real estate with the state licensing board or state’s real estate commission.
  • Look at the Fees: Avoid businesses that ask for an “appraisal” fee or closing costs upfront. Be aware of businesses that give you a large fee and then slightly decrease it to seem like a good deal. Search for a business that will allow you to pay for the fees after the timeshare has been sold. Never wire money and be sure to ask what fees will be included in the cost and if they are refundable.
  • Do Not Be Pressured: Do not agree to anything that is presented over the phone. Before agreeing to anything, take your time to think about your decision. Ask the salesperson to send you written information. Do not be pressured by a salesperson that claims your property can be sold immediately.
  • Read the Contract Carefully: The contact should include: what services the broker provides, how much and when the costs should be paid, a length of time to sell the timeshare, and the refund and guarantee policy. Make sure the contact states who is responsible for the sale.
  • Too Good To Be True: Know the estimated value of the timeshare before bringing it to be sold. If the deal the business offers sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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