His explanation of the "business" operation sounds very familiar to a business model common to upfront fee scams.
What occurs is that they con artists purchase black market lists of timeshare owners. These lists are compiled in several ways. Often, data companies search the internet for timeshare owner information from free classified sites such as Craigslist or collect owner information from form fill internet pages that do not serve any purpose other than as lead generation engines. There have also been cases where disgruntled resort employees will steal owner information from resort databases, and then offer to sell this information to upfront fee marketers.
Once they have a list, the timeshare scammers will simply open a call center or will set up a virtual phone bank where individuals will make calls from home. Often these are unlicensed telemarketing operations, and this is one of the areas where the state has been more effective as of late in raiding and closing down these groups.
When they reach a timeshare owner, they will give them an offer that is much higher than what can realistically be expected to be received via the secondary market for timeshares. There are many reports where the fake offers are actually higher than the original or even current developer pricing!
When the timeshare owner expresses interest in selling, they are told that some type of upfront fee must be paid. This is often collected via credit card over the phone. Once the upfront fee is collected, no sale ever occurs!
It is always important for timeshare owners to understand that as a general rule of thumb, timeshares DO NOT appreciate in monetary value over time. In fact, resale values often range from 10% to 50% of the developer current pricing. This means if you purchased a timeshare from the developer for $20,000 on Monday- if you decided to sell on Tuesday it is likely that they reasonable expected resale price would be between $2,000 to $10,000. In some cases, timeshare resales for some resorts or low demand intervals have no resale value at all!
If you have been the victim of this type of timeshare scam perpetrated by The Vacation Depot or by any other timeshare reseller or marketing company