Woman loses $15,000 in timeshare scam

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Most of us would love to take a vacation right now to get away to somewhere warm! Wouldn't it be great to own a timeshare? Maybe not!

"The best thing to do is if you hear timeshare, run the other way," Esther Bilicki said.

Bilicki is speaking from experience. She lost more than $15,000 in a timeshare scam.

"They wanted to help us sell the timeshare so we didn`t have to worry about anything. They would take care of everything," Bilicki said.

The company was called National Timeshare Resales.

"They made a lot of misrepresentations in convincing the people they would get their timeshare sold for them. They would just need to pay upfront fee ranging from $500- $2,500," U.S. Postal Inspector Derick Thieme said.

The company lured people in by claiming they already had a seller on the line.

"Convince them they had a buyer for their timeshare and this was an imminent sale type deal, and they could help them get rid of the timeshare so they wouldn`t be responsible for the fees and maintenance costs," Thieme said.

Bilicki admits the tactic worked on her.

"We just needed to get rid of it. We just wanted it out of our way," Bilicki said.

However, no sale was ever made.

"I learned everyone is not as honest as what you think they should be," Bilicki said.

Postal inspectors say there were more than 1,400 in one case alone and $2 million in losses.

"They were desperate -- maybe more trusting people and more susceptible to these high pressure sales tactics and it was real disturbing to see these vulnerable people being taken advantage of by these groups," Thieme said.

Bilicki says don't do it!

"Don`t send any money. Just wait for them to sell it and then they can take the money out of that," Bilicki said.

Contact 6 advises checking with the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission or the Wisconsin Attorneys General Office to see if they have any complaints on any individuals or company before you do business.