A company that markets itself as a leader in the timeshare resale business and boasts relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious corporations, also claims a strange address in downtown St. Louis – the long-vacant and padlocked LaSalle Building at 509 Olive Street.
The company, Property Experts Marketing, appears to be among a group of bogus businesses that promise to sell vacation timeshares in return for advance fees, but then do nothing.
Better Business Bureau warns that Property Experts Marketing and similar enterprises are set up solely to steal money from unsuspecting consumers. Many use fabricated, or “ghost” addresses to make them appear more legitimate.
A Texas truck driver told BBB recently that he paid Property Experts Marketing $6,300 to market and sell a portion of his timeshare. Despite repeated promises, the company has yet to sell the timeshare.
Kim States, BBB President, said unscrupulous businesses can take thousands of dollars from timeshare owners before they realize they have been duped.
“These are slick, sophisticated operators who go to great lengths to make themselves look legitimate to potential timeshare sellers,” States said. “In this case, they went as far as faking an address in the heart of downtown St. Louis. The only problem is that they chose a deserted office building with no electricity and no running water.”
Even after a BBB investigator told a representative of Property Experts Marketing that he had visited the locked and deserted office building earlier that day, the representative insisted that the company had a suite on the seventh floor of the building. The man said he was speaking from a phone inside the Olive Street office. Asked if he would be willing to meet a BBB representative at the building, the man replied, “well, actually I am leaving right now.”
The timeshare owner from Converse, Texas, said he was solicited by phone several weeks ago by a man representing himself as an agent with Property Experts Marketing. The agent told him that he could sell a portion of his timeshare for $27,000. All the company asked, the agent said, was that the owner pay (more…)