Timeshare owners in the US warn others to be vigilant over timeshare resale scam.
The Better Business Bureau in Ohio are warning timeshare owners to be cautious when trying to sell unwanted timeshares. The warning comes after a couple from the area lost more than $9,000 in a resale scam.
The couple say the received a cold-call from a company claiming to have a buyer ready to purchase their timeshare, which they rarely used in Mexico. They claimed the buyer was willing to pay more than $41,000. They were not convinced by this to start with and decided to investigate the company first.
Believing the company was genuine, they handed over $9,000 in prepaid fees and legal costs to facilitate the sale. They say after they handed over the money the company broke all of the promises they made and stopped answering calls and emails. They told a local news channel: “I’m very very upset about this, this is a very bad situation. They will not answer my phone calls, they won’t answer my emails, they have the money and they are non-responsive. They took all our money and then basically ran.”
In light of this case, the Better Business Bureau is warning all timeshare owners to be cautious when approached by any company claiming to be able to sell your timeshare for a fee. They say that all of their agencies across the United States are reporting countless organisations operating fraudulently and scamming timeshare owners. They also warned people not to wire money to any company or individual as it is virtually impossible to trace where the money is going and ever recoup any losses, should there be a problem.
What is a Timeshare Resale Scam?
Fraudsters or criminal gangs, pose as genuine real estate brokers and cold-call timeshare owners claiming to have buyers ready to purchase timeshares for inflated prices. Victims often report that they are offered sometimes up to 70% more than what they originally purchased it for.
The fraudster will ask the timeshare owner for an upfront payment of property taxes, and escrow fees before any funds can be released. The scammers continue to extract money from owners for fees, lawyer costs and taxes until finally the victim realises they have been conned. Fake companies will pose as legitimate businesses using slick looking websites and fake reviews, to help fool victims.
How to spot a timeshare scam:
A cold-call informing you they have a buyer ready to purchase your timeshare, they may even offer you more than you paid for it. The chances of someone offering to buy your timeshare for more than you paid for it, is extremely unlikely.
Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website, the cost of creating these sites is very affordable and easily set up.
Stay Safe Online Check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered, you can check this by looking to see if there are any slight changes to a domain name.
Check paperwork you should check all your paperwork including receipts and invoices as well as terms and conditions.
People who enter into timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and 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. 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 simply want to end your agreement, get in touch with us today to see how we can help with a possible money back claim.