From Sunday's Tampa Bay Times investigation: Timeshare resale schemes have quietly become the most rampant form of consumer fraud in Florida, affecting people across the United States and in some foreign countries. The state Attorney General's Office received 964 complaints against Florida timeshare resale companies in 2008. Then 2,929 in 2009. Then 12,257 in 2010.
Last year, even with a dip in calls, Florida's fraud hotline fielded more complaints about timeshare resale companies than the next four categories of consumer complaints combined.
The Tampa Bay Times reviewed thousands of those complaints and spent six months investigating timeshare resale companies and the state's attempts to stop their abuses. Despite an avalanche of allegations, Florida regulators and law enforcement agencies at every level have failed to take basic steps to protect consumers and curb fraud: