Police in Singapore have charged 3 men over their involvement in a timeshare termination scam. It is alleged that the 3 men defrauded 20 victims out of nearly £115,000 between 2012 and 2013. Investigators at the Commercial Affairs Department launched an enquiry into a company that was targeting timeshare owners, offering to help members terminate their contracts and recover money. They claimed that the company was appointed by the timeshare memberships developer to terminate or buy back the memberships.
Police also stated that the 3 men, aged between 34 and 67, who were found to be associated with the company in question, were charged in court on 7 December for cheating and abetment to cheat. They say the company made false representations to timeshare owners, such as claiming they had successfully helped many owners terminate their memberships. If found guilty, the three men could face up to ten years imprisonment and liable to a hefty fine.
Police have issued a warning to members of the public to be vigilant when receiving unsolicited cold calls from companies or persons claiming to be able to help them recover money from their timeshare memberships. They have asked members of the public to adopt the following precautions: Be wary if a stranger calls regarding your timeshare membership. Refrain from providing personal information. Conduct background checks on any company you are contemplating engaging the services of. Check with your timeshare developer if the caller claims it has been authorised by them to contact you.
Timeshare in Singapore
Singapore is the 38th largest economy in the world and benefits from very low unemployment. This has helped to create a thriving holiday market and timeshare remains a popular option in Singapore. In recent years, authorities have tightened safeguards and eliminated loopholes regarding timeshare deals in an attempt to provide better protection for consumers.
Despite this, and the heavy penalties involved in Singapore law, timeshare owners are still falling victim to scam artists. Just like in Europe and the US, timeshare has earned a bad reputation. So in Singapore, timeshare scammers pose as legitimate travel companies, and even use job ads as a way to find victims. They post online ads and sometimes buy advertising space in newspapers, offering large sums of money and fancy job titles to work with them. When people show up for the interview they are actually being presented with a multi-level marketing scheme and subjected to a high-pressure sales pitch. Fraudsters try to sell unsuspecting candidates a timeshare termination product, which they can then go on to sell themselves. Scammers even go as far as creating fake email exchanges and documents to fool people into believing they are acting on their behalf, when they are actually scamming owners a second time by pretending to help with the first scam. They go to great lengths to scam victims, targeting vulnerable timeshare owners, desperate to get out of their contracts.
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.