In Your Corner: Vacation Property Scam

By Ryan Elijah

June 18, 2010 Updated Apr 3, 2009 at 4:45 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's Newscenter)--
For the last two years K.C. Henderson has been looking to sell her timeshare in Las Vegas. She had no shortage of companies calling her offering their services, the fees were sometimes as high as twelve-hundred dollars. A Florida company finally convinced her to let them sell her condo.
"she guaranteed it, and said she'd sell it in 10 months time"
The woman's name was Sara Sweeney and she was the President of Vacations Direct Inc out of Ormond Beach, Florida. K.C. paid 400 dollars with the agreement that if her condo didn't sell in 10 months she'd receive her money back and a voucher for groceries was included, along with a trip. Within 2 months that voucher arrived, but it wasn't what she expected..... worse yet, the phone number, fax and e-mail were no longer in service.
"It's like they dropped off the face of the earth. I called the city attorney in the town and the address was just a post office box"
Vacations Direct Inc. may have disappeared, but we found a Vacations Direct USA operating in Lake Mary, Florida. When we contacted them they said they have no connection with Vacations Inc and they've never heard of Sara Sweeney.
According to the Central Florida Better Business Bureau, Vacations Direct USA has a "D" rating, only slightly better than the "F" rating given to Vacations Direct Inc. in Ormond Beach. When we found no service from either the company's phone or e-mail address, we contacted the Florida Attorney General's office. They have received 31 complaints in the past two years about Vacations Direct Inc, but there is no active investigation into the company. K.C. told us she researched every company that called, except the one from Ormond Beach.
Unfortunately, we found many other victims around the country who have been scammed by Vacations Direct Inc., most could have been prevented by a simple internet search on the company. KC knows she'll probably never get her money back, but she came forward to expose a company with a long list of victims.




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