October 4, 2012 - 5:31 pm
The Charitable Contribution Timeshare Scam -Setting the Record Straight
You may have seen articles around the web warning consumers about “charitable contribution timeshare scams”. Some might even site DFC as being an illegitimate company. Nothing could be further from the truth and in this post we will rebuke some common claims against legitimate timeshare donation firms.
Get the Facts About Charitable Timeshare Contributions
Although there are, no doubt, many timeshare scams out there, they are presenting the information as if all timeshare donation companies are scams. Many people may falsely assume that Donate for a Cause is one of these types of scams. Here we will set the record straight…
#1. Sites claiming that you will pay timeshare donation companies “a fee of up to $5000 or even more…
Truth: Donate for a Cause charges a fee of $2495. This price covers a double real estate closing as well as all recording and marketing fees associated with selling your timeshare. The only additional fee associated with donation is the resort transfer fee charged by your resort. We are not able to build this fee into our program as they vary too much from resort to resort. While some resorts do not charge a fee, others charge up to $4,000. With DFC there are no hidden costs! Our price is what we state it to be which is half of what they are claiming that timeshare donation companies charge.
#2. Timeshare donation companies “will arrange to transfer ownership of your timeshare to a ‘charity’ that they work with.”
Truth: In order to give donors a legitimate tax write-off, the property must first be transferred into a 501 (c) 3 charity. DFC transfers the timeshare into our registered 501(c) 3 non-profit, Project Philanthropy. We then use top rated 3rd party brokers and closing companies to sell or rent the property. We then donate the proceeds raised from that transaction to local and national charities. This double real estate closing is the only legitimate way to donate a timeshare. Some charities used to take in the timeshare’s directly, but due to the high liability of timeshare ownership, charities simply cannot afford take in timeshares.
That is where DFC comes in. We allow charities to reap the benefits of the donated timeshares without taking on any of the risk. And the donors get the rewards of tax write-offs as well as knowing that their timeshare went to benefit the charity of their choice. For the donors and charities, it’s a win-win!
#3. Claims that the appraisal that timeshare donation companies give is bogus and will trigger an IRS audit.
Truth: Any time a donor wants to claim a real estate donation of $5,000 or more they should have the property appraised by a licensed real estate appraiser. The amount it appraises for is the amount which the donor can claim as the fair market value (FMV) of the asset donated. Upon request Donate for a Cause will have your donation appraised by a 3rd party licensed appraiser. The IRS code states that if the appraiser falsely inflates the value of your donation they will be fined and held liable for the difference in your tax burden.
The reason why your timeshare will typically appraise for more than what the charity may sell it for is because they IRS has instructed the timeshare appraisers that they must take into account all contemporaneous sales prices which include both the resale and developer prices. FMV is not a subjective test both rather an objective view of the entire market.
#4. Claims that by donating your timeshare “You are a knowing and willing participant in lying to the United States IRS…because you know your timeshare isn’t worth the “appraised” value”
Truth: This is simply a a scare tactic. We at DFC would never advise our customers to lie to a US government agency. The donor is submitting their donation value which has been determined by a 3rd party licensed expert. Where is the lie?
#5. “By the time the IRS finds out, the scam company will have picked up and left town with your money.
Truth: While this is very true for many fly-by-night scam companies out there, it is not true of DFC. We have been doing business in the same location for over 8 years. If what we are doing is illegal, we would have been shut down long ago.
#6. Timeshare is transferred to a charity and the charity doesn’t want to keep it due to annual liability. When the transfer is done, the charity will immediately “sell” it to a 3rd party-usually a holding party owned by.
Truth:The only truth in this statement is that charities don’t want to keep and use your timeshare due to the liability. We work with large, well renowned charities for years. They would not work with us if we were a scam.
August 6, 2012 - 12:01 pm
Timeshare Con-Artist Tells All!
TSscammer, a self proclaimed timeshare con-artist recently wrote a post on a board on TUG (Timeshare Users Group) revealing some interesting details from the inside of a timeshare scam operation.
Although TSscammer refrained from revealing the secrets to his new and lesser known scams he did elaborate on some of the more widely known scams and how he and his colleagues pulled them off.
One of the most common scams pulled over on timeshare owners involves a telemarketer calling the owner and stating that there is a buyer waiting to pay top dollar for their timeshare. The owner just needs to pay an upfront fee to get the process started and then they will be free from their timeshare once and for all.
Once the scammer gets money from the victim he then pulls off at least two more scams on that person.
TSscammer gives one possible scenario: the scammer will send a counterfeit check to the victim for a higher amount than the so-called sales price. They will call the victim and act like they made an accounting mistake and that they will lose their job if they don’t correct the mistake. They ask the victim to go to the bank, cash the check and then wire them back the difference. By the time the check is discovered to be a fraud the wired money has already gone.
The timeshare con-artist then passes the victims information onto another colleague who calls victim several weeks later pretending to be a private investigator. The “investigator” tells the victim that they have been a victim of a timeshare scam. Of course, they have all of the victim’s information so it seems legitimate. They then ask the victim for money to investigate the scam. And once more the victim has fallen prey to yet another scam.
Many of these scam companies get shut down, but as TSscammer reveals, there are ways to get around this and stay below the radar. TSscammer works for a very small operation with just 4 people. They are licensed in a different state and they don’t use any land lines, just pre-paid cell phones.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation might be the lack of remorse the scammer feels for the victims. TSscammer writes: I feel only contempt for them now. What kind of person receives a phone call they weren’t expecting and ends up driving to the bank an hour later to give a stranger thousands of dollars?
April 27, 2012 - 12:49 am
April has been quite the month for bad news about timeshares. The Wall Street Journal announced on their blog that “Timeshare Prices Plummet to $1”. Tough times in the timeshare market have led to massive timeshare fraud – several more shocking reports of timeshare crime were released this month.
Seems like nothing but bad news in the timeshare industry these days. However, there are few bright spots and Donate for a Cause is one of them. We were just mentioned yesterday in the Chicago Tribune as one of the few legitimate and safe ways to dispose of your timeshare. Read the article here “Fighting Timeshare Resale Scams”.
The reason for so many timeshare scams is, unfortunately, the fact that lots of people have timeshares they don’t really want. And although some have simply outgrown or outlived the timeshare’s usefulness, others were high-pressured onto people who never really wanted them in the first place. Make sure before you buy — not spending in the first place is a lot easier than trying to get money back later.~ Chicago Tribune
If you haven’t already contacted one of our agents, we encourage you to do so. They can provide valuable information on the service we provide and recommend the best course of action for you if you are serious about getting rid of your timeshare.
We know your time is valuable so we’ve created a brief video where you can learn more about timeshare donation! DFC offer a donation and liquidation program for those looking to divest.
April 24, 2012 - 4:31 pm
Shortly after the death of her husband, Joanna Howard started receiving calls from timeshare telemarketers, making false claims that they could help her get rid of her timeshare – but she had to send them money first. Telemarketing scams continue to target timeshare owners each day because lists of timeshare owners are relatively easy to obtain. Watch the story here and see below for more timeshare fraud reports released just this week.
March 15, 2012 - 12:42 am
Want to learn how to get rid of your timeshare? Click this link to view our webinar.
DFC’s mission is to get unsatisfied owners out of their unwanted timeshares while raising much needed funds for charities. Our new webinar takes the time to share very important information on exit solutions for frustrated timeshare owners. We are here to educate consumers because the timeshare industry at large has failed to address this important issue.
Learn how to get rid of your timeshare!
Through watching this webinar, you will come to understand some of the pitfalls to avoid when trying to get rid of your timeshare. Due to the depressed timeshare resale market, it can be nearly impossible to get rid of your timeshare. As a result, timeshare resale scams have sprouted up like weeds in the past few years. This is a HUGE problem! Not only are they ripping off millions of dollars from desperate owners, they are one of the main reasons for the further devaluation of timeshare values and the ever-increasing maintenance fees, which I’m sure you are all to familiar with. We will inform you about how to avoid getting scammed by malicious timeshare resale companies and learn why timeshare donation might be your best option for permanently relieving yourself from your timeshare.
In the presentation we guide you through the quick and easy process of timeshare donation. Our guaranteed donation program takes as little as 8-12 weeks to get you free and clear from your timeshare. We have a 99% success rate and a 100% money back guarantee. If, you are looking for an honest, respected company and the only true guarantee to get out of your timeshare, then Donate For A cause is your solution!
When you log in to watch the webinar, you will be asked to submit your information and a knowledgeable timeshare specialist will follow up with a phone call during normal business hours on the next business day. You can then return to the webinar for up to a week to watch at your leisure, review key points, and share/watch with family and friends.
Once a donation specialist contacts you, you can take advantage of our knowledge and expertise to get you out of your timeshare legally and quickly. If you decide that timeshare donation is your best option, we will guide you through the simple, easy process, making it as pain free as possible.