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Florida Man Sentenced for $10 Million Timeshare Scam

Ryan F. Khoury of Apopka, Florida was recently sentenced to 8 years in Federal prison and must repay $1.6 million and forfeit property in Orlando, Florida. Khoury pleaded guilty last July to commit mail and wire fraud.
Scam WarningThe scheme attracted over 5,000 victims, mostly seniors in the U.S and Canada. Khoury was associated with Fabien Fliefel of Winter Springs, Texas. The scheme entailed hiring telemarketers to contact timeshare owners and solicit fees with the promise of bogus buyers. Fleifel was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.3 million.
Whether buying or selling a timeshare resale it is important to protect yourself to avoid scams. Stay away from any cold calls as reputable timeshare resale brokers avoid this practice. Always do your research on the broker, the buyer, and all parties involved. Check with the Better Business Bureau, the involved state’s Real Estate Division, and verify they are licensed, reputable brokers.
Premier Timeshare ResaleBalloons In Flight agents are licensed RE/MAX agents and are dedicated to helping identify and stop scammers. PTR has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and zero complaints with the Division of Real Estate. Premier Timeshare Resale never charges a fee to buyers, and there is never an up-front fee for those looking to sell their timeshare. For more information on avoiding or reporting a timeshare scam, or help buying or selling a timeshare resale, contact us today.
Written by: Shawn Romanick, Web Author

4 Things to Know Before Buying a Timeshare

beach ocean hutBusiness has been booming for the timeshare industry, a now $7.6 billion business, the same size as Major League Baseball in the United States. Since the first timeshare opened in Kauai, Hawaii in 1969, timeshare ownership has steadily grown to over 8 million owners.

The numbers don’t lie, and hotels around the world, small and large, are taking notice. Big name resorts such as Marriott and Starwood have already announced new timeshare projects this year, with even more announcements expected to come.

So, you want to get in on the action, but don’t know what to look for when buying a timeshare. In an industry plagued with scammers, high-pressure sales pitches, and endless rumors, how do you know what to look for when thinking about making the plunge into becoming a timeshare owner?

Timeshare purchases are often impulse buys, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop smart. Here are four of the most important things you should know before buying a timeshare.

hotel pool1. Don’t Pay Full Price

Resorts have a lot of competition when trying to get new timeshare owners. Because of that, and the nature of a timeshare purchase, hotels have resorted to high-pressure sales pitches that leave participants drained.

Like any piece of real estate, timeshare prices can be bargained. Never buy a timeshare for the first price offered and don’t be afraid to haggle, whether working with a resort or resale company.

Buying a timeshare resale is a great way to go. You’ll often get the best deal when working with a resale company than through the hotel or owner directly. And in an industry where timeshare contracts can be full of confusing language, it’s good to have a timeshare real estate agent on your side to help negotiate the deal.

2. Know What You’re Buying

There are three important questions to ask when deciding on a timeshare. First, you’ll want to know whether you’re buying a deeded property or a right-to-use ownership. Most properties in the United States are deeded and work just like any other property, you can rent it out, pass it on to your heirs, and get foreclosed for defaulting on payments. Properties outside of the country, such as in Mexico or Aruba, are often right-to-use ownerships which will expire at a certain date and are subject to the country’s property laws.

contractSecond, know your right to refusal. Because of the timeshare industry’s reputation for scams and high-pressure sales, many states have combated that with legal protections that allow the purchaser to back out of the buy within so many days. Make sure to read the verbiage pertaining to your right to refusal in the contract and keep all correspondence in writing if you decide to back out of a deal.

Finally, learn the trade and exchange intervals for your property. Most properties can either be traded for points that can be used at a different time or resort, or can be exchanged for time at another resort. This is one of the many perks to timeshare ownership, but the rules can be tricky. Make sure to ask your timeshare real estate agent the best way to trade or exchange your timeshare.

3. Know Your Investment

Timeshare kitchen cookingTimeshares are not a real estate investment. Although possible, timeshare properties aren’t likely to increase in value. And often, when the time comes, timeshares are resold for a loss. However, there are a number of advantages to owning a timeshare that make it an investment in vacations, rather than real estate. Timeshares guarantee vacation time and often have accommodations such as kitchens and washing machines that regular resort rooms don’t have. These amenities make it easy to vacation with family and friends regularly, which make timeshares a valuable investment in fun and memories.

4. Beware Timeshare Scammers

Although a number of laws have been passed, scammers have been jailed, and legitimate businesses have sprung up, timeshare scams still run rampant in this industry. It’s vital to protect yourself and your loved ones from timeshare scam artists.

The first and most important rule to avoiding timeshare scams it to NEVER PAY UPFRONT FEES. You should not have to pay to advertise or sell your timeshare. Finding a timeshare resale company, like Premier Timeshare Resale, that doesn’t charge to post a listing or sell a timeshare is the best way to sell your timeshare.

Timeshare Resale BrokerAlso, never give out your information to cold call companies that promise above market deals with an anonymous buyer. That’s the most common tactic for timeshare scammers and can easily be avoided. Do your research when looking for a timeshare company. Make sure their agents are licensed real estate agents and that the company appears on the Better Business Bureau website.

There are a lot of advantages to buying a timeshare, especially with the growing market. If you’re ready to look at timeshares, contact our agents today!

Timeshare Scam Warning: Premier Timeshare Resale Impostor

stopYet again, impostors have tried to piggy-back on the great name of Premier Timeshare Resale. We want to warn all of our past and potential clients of a Mr. Sanchez and a Mr. Cortez that have been calling timeshare owners pretending to work for Premier Timeshare Resale. Sanchez and Cortez are NOT affiliated with PTR. DO NOT answer any calls or emails from them offering to sell your timeshare.

Earlier today, a PTR client contacted our offices concerned about two agents, going by the names of Sanchez and Cortez, calling about selling their timeshare. These men have heavy Spanish accents and say that they are with Premier Timeshare Resale and advising that they would like to include their unit in a 90 minute presentation in Punta Cana in an effort to sell it.

Thankfully, these timeshare owners were smart enough to visit our staff website page and see that neither Sanchez nor Cortez work for PTR and they emailed us to alert us to the scammers immediately.

bag o cashTimeshare owners, and friends and family of owners, we talk a lot about timeshare scams on our blog. Our mission at PTR is to legitimize the timeshare industry, which means providing the best possible timeshare deals and customer service, as well as putting an end to timeshare scammers around the world. We love to see success stories of scam artists rightfully convicted of the times they’ve committed and being put out of business. We hope that a similar fate will befall the impostors in this case.

Be aware of scammers in the timeshare industry. Never trust an agent that promises a buyer without confirmation. NEVER PAY AN UPFRONT FEE for any timeshare deal you do. And always thoroughly check the company’s website, staff page, and Better Business Bureau rating. These three simple rules can keep you from ever being taken advantage of by timeshare scam artists trying to steal your money.

Please, share the word on social media with friends and family. Let’s put an end to these scammers!

Timeshare Scam Warning! Look Out for PTR Poser

We often talk about the timeshare scam artists out there and we love to see them get caught and locked away. Unfortunately, Premier Timeshare Resale has been used in a scam and we want to warn everyone out there!

warningWe received an email last week asking about an agent named Yonathan Sanchez. This person DOES NOT WORK AT PTR. He contacted a timeshare owner claiming to work for PTR and offering a buyer. Of course, he required an upfront fee. Remember, Premier Timeshare Resale NEVER ASKS FOR AN UPFONT FEE.

Sanchez used PTR’s logo, staff information, and testimonials to try to gain the prospective seller’s trust. But one obvious flaw was his Gmail email address. Also, he does not have a bio on our website. All of Premier Timeshare Resale’s agents are licensed real estate agents and their licenses can be checked online.

If you receive any calls from anyone that isn’t listed on our website, do not tell them any personal information. Timeshare scam artists steal hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from innocent, unsuspecting victims. Don’t let yourself or your loved ones falls prey to these tricksters. You can never be too cautious when buying or selling a timeshare, so make sure your agent and broker are legitimate and never pay a fee upfront.

Another Timeshare Scammer Caught

Another success story of scam defeat can be told as of last Friday, November 19, in Green Bay-area, Wisconsin.

Photo Curtesy of the Green Bay Press Gazette

Photo Curtesy of the Green Bay Press Gazette

A federal judge ruled to sentence scam show-runner Mark Parks to nine years in prison after he and a crew of collaborators stole almost $2.5 million from elderly timeshare owners.

The scheme, committed in the Green Bay-area, defrauded more than 3,000 victims in all 50 states and Canada out of about $2.5 million through a number of fraudulent companies ran by Mark Parks and his wife Mindy Parks, who will be sentenced on January 5. Six other conspirators will be sentenced through December and January.

Although this is a success story, it’s also full of tragedy for the 3,000 victims of Parks and his schemers. Employees have testified, saying that they were given scripts that lied to property owners about having buyers, they received commission on up front fees, and they even lied about their names so that disgruntled victims couldn’t call back and reach the “agent” that proposed the initial deal.

These tactics are nothing new. In fact, it’s shocking that timeshare owners are still falling for these age-old tricks. Parks’ scheme focused on elderly owners, which is partially why they were so successful. The owners rarely had any outside knowledge about the dangers of timeshare scams and were unable to do sufficient research or stop by the company’s “office.”

We warn our readers about NEVER PAYING UPFRONT FEES all the time, but there are other ways timeshare owners can protect themselves against fraud.

bag o cashDoing your research is an important tip that will save you a lot of heartbreak. You should not only thoroughly research the companies website before making any deals, but research the company on the Better Business Bureau’s website. You should also research the selling or buying agent you’re working with. Never sign a contract or pay a fee without going through a licensed agent.

These simple tips could have saved thousands of people from losing millions of dollars. In Parks’ scheme, victims were asked to pay hundreds of even thousands of dollars up front to secure the fake buyer. Remember, you should NEVER PAY UPFRONT FEES.

Premier Timeshare Resale will never ask for an upfront fee and does not get paid commission until you do. Our agents are licensed real estate agents, working under a licensed broker, and we bare it all out front so you can see before even contacting us.

One of our missions at Premier Timeshare Resale is to promote safe timeshare shopping and selling, as well as work to legitimize the industry. Our trained team of experts is ready and willing to help, and through the process we hope to save thousands of timeshare owners from falling into timeshare scams and fraud. This is why we encourage satisfied customers to volunteer their testimony on our website and Facebook page. PTR aims to be a beacon of hope in the timeshare industry.

Source: www.greenbaypressgazette.com

Longtime Timeshare Scam Artist Goes to Jail

HandcuffsAnother timeshare criminal went down this week in Illinois. Jose Manuel Goyos Jr., 27, was sentenced to eight years in prison and a $1,000 fine for a telemarketing scheme that stole $14.5 million from more than 7,000 timeshare owners in the United States and Canada.

Based in Palm Beach, Florida, Goyos recruited recovering drug addicts to rip off timeshare owners. As many of these scams go, the telemarketers would promise or imply a buyer for desperate timeshare owners and would charge an upfront fee, usually more that $1,000. The buyer, of course, never existed and the fee would be non-refundable. This is why we can’t stress enough at Premier Timeshare Resale that timeshare owners should NEVER pay an upfront fee to sell their timeshare.


Jose Manuel Goyos Jr., Photo from Palm Beach Post

The judge called Goyos’ crime “the most despicable scam in the world,” persecuting him for his recruitment of recovering drug addicts and stealing from the financially vulnerable.

PTR has not been ignorant of Goyos’ scam. His fraudulent company was called Premier Timeshare Solutions, and our company was often confused for Goyos’ phony one. Hearing about Goyos’ prosecution was relieving for PTR.

Goyos is one of nearly 50 people charged or sentenced by Illinois prosecutors alone this year, although many of the scams are based out of Palm Beach, Florida. It’s no surprise that timeshare scams have been the No. 1 fraud complaint in Florida over the last five years.

Although law enforcement across the United States is cracking down on timeshare fraud, it still plagues the timeshare industry. Before buying or selling a timeshare, see if the company you are using is registered with the BBB and has licensed timeshare agents. NEVER pay an upfront fee and do your research. If you follow these simple guidelines, you can avoid becoming a victim of timeshare fraud and sell your timeshare with peace of mind.

Sources: Palm Beach Post and STL Today

Timeshare Scams: the Threat is Real

One man in New Jersey lost $1,900 to timeshare scammers last week, as a local online news source reported. Posting information about his timeshare online, the 68-year old gentleman received a phone call from two men from Florida claiming to be buyers, and requesting $1,900 to cover a title transfer and lien search fees. He never saw the money again.


Unfortunately, this is something that happens all too often in the timeshare resale industry with sellers who haven’t done their research and unscrupulous individuals willing to risk up to 20 years in prison for committing fraud.timeshare-scams-fraud-resale


For a variety of reasons, many of us end up with timeshares we don’t want or no longer use. Unloading those timeshares can be difficult and a painstaking process, and to avoid becoming another victim of timeshare fraud, Premier Timeshare Resale strongly recommends that you use a licensed real estate agent to complete the sale.


Licensed agents will never ask for upfront fees from a seller, and work on a commission only basis, which means they receive their payment for services when you receive your funds for the sale of your timeshare. Being licensed means that the contracts used are legally sound and that as a client, you have recourse to justice should anything go terribly wrong. While selling your timeshare on self-posting sites like Craigslist or Redweek may save you a few bucks, it could also cost you: $1,900 or more.


Using this link, you can look up anyone’s real estate license in any state and verify their standing and credibility. For older adults not as familiar with internet transactions and for those who just want extra peace of mind to sell their timeshare, PTR again urges the use of a licensed real estate agent. The more buyers and sellers use legitimate and legally sound ways of buying and selling timeshare, the less that scammers and fraudsters will have to go on.


Join us now in making the timeshare resale industry less about victimization, and more about legitimate business transactions.