Message from the Florida Attorney General 2/21/2011
The Attorney General's Office has made timeshare resales one of our top
consumer priorities, and we are actively investigating multiple businesses
pursuant to Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Chapter
501, Part II, Florida Statutes. We use complaints such as yours to
identify patterns of questionable business activity which may indicate the
need for formal investigation or action by our office to protect the broad
public interest. I am retaining your correspondence in our consumer files
for future reference.
Additionally, I invite you to visit the Attorney General's comprehensive
website about the timeshare resales industry in Florida. This website
provides information on the Attorney General's investigations of
particular businesses, along with the consumer tips about resolving
timeshare resale issues. Also as it appears you may have previously lost
money to a timeshare resale company, you may file a complaint on our
The Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission have also issued
important consumer alerts about so-called "recovery rooms," and
"reloading," scams which target consumers who previously fell prey to
telemarketing and other schemes:
I also encourage you to file a complaint with the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services (DACS).
The DACS registers non-exempt telemarketers and administers provisions of
the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act which includes the State's No Sales
Solicitation List. For further information about telemarketing, please
visit DACS's website:
You may file your complaint directly with DACS at:
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Consumer Services
2005 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Telephone: (850) 488-2221
Toll-free within FL: (800) 435-7352
Since your phone number is listed on the federally sponsored national "Do
Not Call" registry, you may file a complaint about violations, by calling
(888) 382-1222. More information is available on the Federal Trade
Commission's website at:
Finally, consumers should never provide personal information such as bank
account numbers, social security numbers, credit card account information,
or birth dates, at the request of unsolicited emails, text messages, or
phone calls. Please do not respond to these types of requests. I
encourage you to review the following information regarding telemarketing
and reloading practices:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsite...ecognize.shtml < FTC's
info on telephone fraud
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsite...eloading.shtml < FTC's
info on reloading
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsite...obocalls.shtml < FTC's
info on robocalls
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/phonefraud/ < FTC's info on
telemarketing phone fraud
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsite...d/report.shtml < FTC's
info how to report phone fraud
Thank you for contacting Attorney General Bondi's Office. I hope this
Office of Citizen Services
Florida Attorney General's Office
PL-01, The Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050
Telephone: (850) 414-3990
Toll-free in Florida: (866) 966-7226
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL. THIS ADDRESS IS FOR PROCESSING ONLY.
To contact this office please visit the Attorney General's website at
www.myfloridalegal.com and complete the on-line contact form. Again,
thank you for contacting the Office of the Florida Attorney General.
INTERNET MESSAGE RECEIVED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE ON 01/17/2011
Attorney General Bill McCollum News Release
September 23, 2010
Media Contact: Ryan Wiggins
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Announces Multiple Enforcement Efforts Targeting Timeshare Resale Fraud
TALLAHASSEE, FL - Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced multiple enforcement actions in an on-going effort to rein in abuses within the timeshare resale industry.
Timeshare resale complaints are the most commonly reported consumer complaint received by the Attorney General's Office, with over 8,500 complaints received since January. The Attorney General's Economic Crimes Division has open investigations into 49 companies and has nine active lawsuits involving timeshare resale companies. Some companies have even resorted to deceptively using the Attorney General's office name in their sales pitch to consumers, in an effort to legitimize their services and mislead consumers.
"The increasing level of fraud in the timeshare resale industry is alarming," said Attorney General McCollum. "Combating this growing problem will require a multi-pronged approach, involving a continuous collaborative enforcement effort among the state agencies and more consumer education."
The Attorney General filed two lawsuits within the last week against PFS Concepts, doing business as U.S. Vacations, and its owner operating out of Pinellas County, and ADC Marketing, doing business as U.S. Timeshare Management, and its owners operating out of Broward County. The Attorney General's Economic Crimes Division began investigating the companies after receiving numerous consumer complaints, alleging the companies were using false or misleading sales pitches to induce consumers into paying up-front fees for the companies' advertising services. According to consumer complaints, each of the companies misled consumers into believing that the companies had buyers ready to purchase the consumers' timeshares. Consumers have also reported that the companies promised to sell the timeshares within a given period of time. Both lawsuits are seeking restitution for affected consumers as well as court orders prohibiting the companies from committing further violations of Florida law and reimbursement of costs and fees.
The Attorney General's office has also served multiple subpoenas seeking documents in furtherance of on-going timeshare resale investigations of the following companies: Vacation Property Resellers, located in Largo; Travel Exclusive, located in Ocoee; CHL Marketing, doing business as GMAC Timeshare, located in Orlando; C&G Marketing Associates, located in Palm Beach Gardens; Timeshare Lifestyles, located in St. Petersburg, and First Class Travel Wise, located in Boca Raton.
In an effort to continue educating consumers about the increasing fraud in the timeshare resale industry, the Attorney General's office also announced the creation of a new website dedicated to timeshare resale fraud prevention. The website has information regarding active investigations, lawsuits, consumer tips, relevant law and a link to file a formal complaint. The website assists affected consumers who live in other states, making it easier for them to keep up with the latest information on timeshare fraud. The website will also provide tips on avoiding timeshare resale fraud to consumers looking to purchase or sell a timeshare. Consumers can access the website at: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/timeshares.
The American Resort Development Association continues to support the Attorney General's Office in the efforts to combat timeshare resale fraud.
"The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and its members applaud Attorney General Bill McCollum for his leadership on the subject of resale fraud in the secondary timeshare market," said Howard Nusbaum, CEO and President of ARDA. "Too many Floridians have been victims of these resale scams, costing consumers thousands of dollars and hurting the vacation ownership industry."
Consumers can contact the Attorney General's Citizen Services Division by calling the Attorney General's fraud hotline at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or by visiting the Attorney General's website at http://www.myfloridalegal.com.