Timeshare Users Group / TUG2.com — My e-mail address associated with a scam by TUG
Before joining TUG to try and rent a timeshare week, you should read what happened to me and proceed with caution.
I joined TUG (Timeshare Users Group) on February 19th, 2015 in order to list a timeshare week I was attempting to rent. I posted a week to rent at Wyndham Vacation Resorts Great Smokies Lodge the week following Easter. Everything was going great until I received an e-mail from the a TUG administrator stating “We are going to need you to supply us with scanned copies of your reservation information showing you as the registered owner for the intervals you have listed in the TUG marketplace. We have placed all of your ads on hold pending the receipt of this info.” I therefore sent them the confirmation letter but asked them if this was normal. The response was “This does not cover anywhere near the number of ads you have posted.” I replied that I was very concerned that maybe someone had hacked into my account and that the Great Smokies Lodge was the only listing I had posted. I asked for additional details, but heard nothing.
I therefore starting doing some digging into I could find anything that my TUG account had been hacked. So I decided to Google my e-mail address, [protected]@gmail.com and found this post on the TUG BBS as the first listing. “RENTERS BEWARE: John Marzano AKA Beautiful Home, [protected]@gmail, [protected]@gmail”. Here is a link to the posting: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224203. It turns out the other John Marzano was trying to scam people who had posted to the Wish Ads, which allows renters to request someone rent them a specific week. After reading this, I immediately sent the TUG admins an e-mail trying to get them to remove my e-mail address from the posting. I also asked them to refund my $15 membership fee since obviously I want going to be able to rent my week. I tried to convince them that even though both of us shared the same name, I was not the scam artist. However, I guess they couldn't comprehend that two e-mail addresses associated with the same name don’t have to be the same person.
Here is the response I received: “We have actually reported your transaction(s) thru our merchant account as well as the local Atlanta authorities for your attempts to scam our customers. Will let you know how that plays out =)”. I told them that was great and gave them all of my contact information to pass onto the authorities in an attempt to clear my name. Unfortunately I have not heard anything back from the authorities or from TUG.
I have contacted several lawyers to see if I could take legal action, but the upfront expense is just not worth it. I have rented several weeks before through other means and never had any issues. I have used the first part of that e-mail address (jncmarz) for over 20 years. I’m not real happy of having it directly associated with a scam. But apparently that is of little concern to TUG.
Another thing that bugs me is that the individual who created the libel post, Denise M., also runs her own timeshare rental business. There is a link at the bottom of the post that points to her website www.denisetravels.com. Some people might view having someone who runs a timeshare rental business and is responsible for pulling rental ads from TUG as a conflict of interest. But I guess TUG doesn’t.
So why have I posted this rather long story you might ask? We’ll it seems one of the few ways I could get the truth out there. Denise has linked my name and e-mail address with a scam and I don’t have any way of getting it cleared. I’m not saying that Denise was wrong in getting the word out about [protected]@gmail, I just wish she would have done a little bit of research before trashing my reputation. If it happened to me, it can happen to you as well.
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