Even in a good economy, it's hard to sell a timeshare. In the current economy, it's so tough to sell these properties that the scammers are swooping in. In 2009, a state consumer affairs official in Florida described the problem as "almost epidemic."
Here's what happens: Someone calls the owner of a timeshare and says he has a buyer or will start paperwork to sell the property. And there's always a fee, generally in excess of $1,000. Once the fee is paid, the seller never hears from this person or his company again.
Bottom line: If there are so many people who want to get out of timeshares that they create a robust market for scam artists, then there's something wrong with this concept in buying.