Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hilton Head Timeshare Scams Relentlessly Reported in Appalling Numbers: Government Fails the People

Timeshare fraud on Hilton Head Island is being and has been relentlessly reported to the Federal Trade Commission and Mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island; however, federal, state, and local government officials have failed to take action and some in the government appear to actively support the timeshares. I believe that all complaints to government entities in South Carolina are forwarded to the South Carolina Real Estate Commission which appears to summarily issue letters stating that they have no authority to act. This is, of course, curious, being that the Commission is the sole entity charged with the enforcement of the South Carolina Timeshare Act. It seems that policies within the Real Estate Commission changed after Governor Nikki Haley was voted into office and appointed some new folks. covered it here.

More complaints of timeshare scams on Hilton Head Island have been reported to federal, state, and local government entities and officials than anyone reasonably has time to read. Having read hundreds of these complaints, I will tell you that you can read a few or several timeshare complaints and stop; it becomes dreadfully repetitive. Just multiply those complaints by a very large denominator in your mind and fathom: what if these complaints are not a coordinated conspiracy of senior citizens and elderly folk spanning more than a decade to harm the reputable timeshare industry?

As likely as it may be that there is a secret order of aged individuals to defame reputable industries and businesses like timeshares, I just can't say for sure. Moreover, I have no personal experience being defrauded by a timeshare company and cannot verify any of the hundreds and hundreds of complaints against timeshare companies in South Carolina and Hilton Head Island.

You can send a Freedom of Information Act Request (a letter asking the government to send the complaints to you) to the FTC for Hilton Head Island alone and receive thousands of pages of complaints of timeshare fraud and review those to your satisfaction; they are publicly available. However, there is also this new thing that people use to get information called the interwebs or world wide net, something to that effect, where people can obtain seemingly endless information, including timeshare complaints, instantly. is one of a number of Internet websites where victims of scams and frauds report the same. In the search box in the upper right-hand corner, I typed in "Hilton Head," and 260 complaints appeared. As for most recent complaints, I see one this month already, six in July, and nine in June. Wow. This is just one website. I am already shocked to see so many complaints about my small town.

Further cursory review reveals that 21 of the 25 complaints on Page 1 appear to be timeshare and vacation related, 15 of 25 on Page 2, 16 of 25 on Page 3, 14 of 25 on Page 4, and 19 of 25 on Page 5. I just can't bring myself to count anymore, so I type this blog entry in dismay.

Having been raised in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and educated solely in South Carolina, I have, or had, great pride for my state. However, since I have somewhat recently become aware of the relentlessly overwhelming and continuing complaints of scams and fraud in my state and my town, and so many being timeshare complaints, the feeling of South Carolina pride that I held my whole life has been replaced by feelings of shame, embarrassment, and disgrace.

I do not believe I need to recount all of the shameful and regrettable incidents and periods of time in South Carolina's history. My state is all too often the butt of a good joke. So the question is: how much longer will we permit our state to be trounced by others? How much longer will we turn a blind eye to the overwhelming tidal wave of complaints of timeshare scams and frauds?

I am informed that South Carolina has the second most timeshare companies in the United States to Florida. How much longer until we are known as the timeshare ripoff capital of the United States? Maybe I should get used to those jokes.

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