Common Timeshare Scams
The timeshare industry used to be a trendy and great way to enjoy the holidays. A timeshare essentially involves part ownership where individual owners can visit the holiday home up to twice annually.
The best part of timeshare used to be that you could return to the same fantastic location every summer, and the longer you retain the property, the cheaper your holidays become.
Unfortunately, the timeshare industry has been infiltrated by a hoard of frauds and scams. This has majorly contributed to the revolting reputation the industry has these days.
If you are reading this and you are a timeshare owner, you must be able to identify common timeshare scams, so you don’t add to the number of people that have fallen victim to the dishonest, immoral and unethical ploys of the bad seeds in the industry.
Whether you are considering buying a timeshare for the first time or already have a timeshare, you must always have your eyes wide open, be fully attentive and watch out for scammers. If you have fallen victim to a timeshare scam, please do contact one of our recommended timeshare cancellation companies.
There are timeshares scams waiting for the right moment to strike and reap you off. You don’t want to be caught in such a situation, so you must be able to differentiate what is fake from what is not. If not, you might lose a lot. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource to check for legitimate reviews.
Now, how does one identify these timeshare scams? Sometimes, it may be easy to pick out which one of these timeshare companies are scams and which one is legit. While other times, you were lucky enough to have escaped their blow.
Whichever the case may be, we have noticed that these timeshare scams have a familiar pattern.
Today’s article will expose you to the common timeshare scams. Seat back read through the lines, and don’t fall victim to common timeshare scams.
What are the Common Timeshare Scams
Identifying a scam timeshare company may not be as complicated as you thought. You only have to be as attentive and alert as possible. As we mentioned earlier, they all follow a particular pattern in trying to reap people off. If you already know these patterns, then you have a chance of dodging their bullet before they even shoot.
If you are looking to get out of a timeshare, maybe sell your timeshare, rent it, transfer it or terminate it, you should be on the watch for these scams as they are popular for offering such services.
They offer a unique and outstanding service, charge you for it, and they go MIA. Even if you are not considering terminating your timeshare contract, it doesn’t mean you have immunity from timeshare scams.
You may not be immune from these scams, but they are avoidable. Knowledge is bliss, and this bliss empowers you to avoid common timeshare scams. Below are the common timeshare scams in the industry.
Cold Calls from Fake Buyers
This is, in fact, the most popular timeshare scam. You may receive an unsolicited call from a buyer claiming they are ready to pay for your timeshare. It’s a lie! It’s a scam!
When you get such calls, the first and most important thing to do is end the call right away and put down the phone. If possible, you can block the caller.
Their aim here is to reach a timeshare owner that is an elderly individual or financially vulnerable. They aim to collect your personal information. They even go as far as reciting some of your details, like your passport details, date of birth and the likes, so they can appear legit. It is just another ploy to scam you. The information might have been recovered from any database, so don’t fall for it.
Furthermore, no credible or legitimate buyer will contact you with an unsolicited number except if you have permitted them.
Buyers are also responsible for the transfer fees and commission, not the owners selling their timeshare. As a timeshare seller, you should not pay any costs before signing contracts.
Timeshare Resale Agents
This generation of scammers is more tech-savvy. They devise ways to manipulate your devices to display a fake caller ID. Most of them disguise themselves as a timeshare sales representative and have scammed many claiming they were from legitimate timeshare companies.
This group of scammers conducts their research thoroughly. They disguise themselves as a representative of a legitimate timeshare company wanting to buy your timeshare and require upfront payment to close. This one may not be very easy to avoid, as it is hard to tell if they are really from a legit timeshare company or not. However, if you proceed with caution, you can escape this scam.
It is simple. Do not pay upfront fees or luxury taxes. It is a rule of thumb never to share your personal details like your credit card information, social security, or bank details with an unknown caller. When you receive such calls, do well to do your research and ensure they are 100% legit before you proceed.
The Extortion Scam
This scam generates from a cold call, like most timeshare scams. Here a company calls you claiming you owe them an amount affiliated to a timeshare you own. They state that if you don’t pay immediately, it will be reported to collections.
Surely, you don’t want any damage to your credit, but beware, this is a scam.
There are many stories to tell. Some may claim that they are offering a holiday at a very massive discount, but you must pay a fee to claim it.
Once more, a legitimate timeshare company will not call with an unsolicited number. Whenever you receive such calls, conduct your research to verify their authenticity.
Timeshare Exit Scam
These are the most recent ones, and the worst part is that celebrities back these timeshare exit scams. Frankly, we can’t entirely blame those celebrities, as some of them have no idea of the timeshare industry.
This group of scams offers impeccable service and promises to get you out of your timeshare contract.
They prey on individuals looking to sell, transfer, cancel or terminate their timeshare contract. They even hire timeshare lawyers to tag along in their scam.
These lawyers are part of their organization and work together to exploit vulnerable people. Go with one of our recommended timeshare cancellation companies. We have done the heavy lifting for you, and have weeded out the scam cancellation companies.
When they ask you to stop paying your timeshare or maintenance fees, it’s a sign that they are a timeshare exit scam. You will never receive such an order unless it comes from your Resort or HOA.
You should not stop paying your timeshare as it will accumulate your debts and, as a result, will hurt your credit.
Mexico Timeshare Scams
Mexico Timeshare Scams are on a different level entirely. If you own a timeshare in Mexico that you are listing for sale with the help of a reseller, you must be vigilant.
The Mexico timeshare scam impersonates a lawyer in the United States and builds a dummy website using that lawyer’s information. However, the real lawyer is not involved.
They offer to help sell your timeshare at a sizeable amount. And when the deed is done, they flee with the amount. This scam is avoidable. All you have to do is verify if the lawyer is legitimate.
You can verify this information from the State Office of Attorney Regulation or the State Bar Association.
By reading this, surely, you have gathered enough information and knowledge about the common timeshare scams. Now that you know the common timeshare scams, you have immunity from their strike.
Protect Yourself from Timeshare Scams
Even if you fall victim at the initial stage, you can always protect yourself from the final blow of their scheme – that is, reaping you off. Here is how you can protect yourself from timeshare scams.
- Don’t pay mystery fees.
- Don’t pay upfront fees.
- Always conduct your research for verification.
- Don’t sign any document in the absence of your attorney.
If you think someone is trying to scam you, it is your obligation as a citizen to report the matter immediately. You can report timeshare scams to your state department of Real Estate, your local Better Business Bureau, the state Attorney’s General office or the Federal Trade Commission.