Tag Archives: timeshare scam alert

Signs of a Scam

Timeshare: Recognizing the Signs of a Scam

In order to help our readers recognize the tell-tale signs that you might be walking into a timeshare scam, we have invited guest blogger Anna Cooper, from the Timeshareadvisor Blog to share some top tips about recognizing the signs of a scam. Avoid the stress and frustration of a timeshare scam and follow this advice.

Timeshare: Recognizing the Signs of a Scam

“Forewarned is forearmed!”. This old saying is still true especially when you are considering to buy a timeshare. This article aims at forewarning you so that you are more able to distinguish a genuine timeshare offer from a scam.

The following warnings should help you identify when you are heading towards a timeshare scam. Considering these key signs of a scam can help you prevent being a timeshare scam victim.

Instinct

They say “follow your instinct” when determining if a timeshare is real or not. Not everyone’s intuition might be correct, but if you get a hunch about your timeshare transaction, that could be the first sign. Then look for the rest of the signs mentioned below.

Honesty in words and actions

Rate the timeshare company’s dealings with you in terms of its honesty. Has there been instances when you have been told one thing and the reality is another? Simple actions like a promise of breakfast which turns out to be juice and coffee or spending much longer than promised at the timeshare presentation are signs that not everything is what it seems. Also, you might be promised to receive a discount, gift, or incentive but nothing was delivered or you had to pay for it. However, the most clear danger sign is if you are taken to a different resort than the one you expected to visit. This can happen when a rogue taxi driver takes you to the competition’s resort or when the agent working on the street is a fraud pretending to represent a genuine company.

Prominence

Check for the timeshare company’s internet reputation. Even if you find complaints, this information is vital. If there is no trace or any information related to the company, this is a red flag telling you about a timeshare scam you are heading into. Prefer timeshare companies whose reputation is positive and those with 10 years or more in the business. Even finding a complaint is more promising than finding nothing about the company.

Licenses and permissions

Timeshare scammers will not be able to provide you with the correct licenses. Obviously, it can be hard to tell if the license is a forgery, especially when dealing with timeshares in foreign countries. The trick is to only trust agents that greet you in airports, major shopping malls and highly touristic areas as these agents will have to have certain permits to operate in those areas.

Affiliations

A genuine timeshare company will usually be recognized by one of the major international exchange networks, such as RCI or Interval International. These networks and business
partnerships work only with legal and well-known vacation clubs and timeshare companies. A phoney timeshare will have no connections with these networks. If in doubt, check with the exchange company.

First-hand experiences

Not visiting the resort where you are supposedly purchasing a timeshare is another red flag of a scam. Many timeshare buyers base their decisions on the photographs, models, or architectural presentations given to them. These are fine when dealing with a reputable chain or you are located in a sister resort of the same resort chain. However, be very wary of buying a timeshare on a whim from photos.

Related article: The Villa Group Scams Uncovered

Timeshare Contracts and Cancellation

Timeshare Contract and Cancellation

Steps to take for cancellation of timeshare contracts.

  1. Think carefully before cancellation
  2. One of the first steps to take if you are considering cancelling your timeshare contract is to really think about why it is you want to cancel. Are you doing it for a good reason or are you worried about the cost or what you have heard about timeshares? Too many times individuals will have second thoughts after they have made a major purchase in their lives, and when this happens just go over the benefits of what the timeshare can offer you, family, and friends. What you may not know is trying to cancel a timeshare cost a lot of money and it can be a long process, so make sure this is what you really want to do before you start doing it.

  3. Get the right advice
  4. Timeshare forums on the internet are the last place you want to take advice from, because these forums come with scamming companies that like to encourage you into hiring an lawyer, which will be a big price, but an advantage for them. A timeshare contract should be clear of all breaches, and if there are no breaches, then you have no legal right to cancel the contract. Instead of taking advice on forums, try contacting a professional timeshare company that can help you in seeing if there is a breach of contract. They may be able to get you a refund, but unfortunately, this rarely occurs. Just make sure it is a professional company, so you aren’t scammed.

    Timeshare Contracts and Cancellation

  5. Collect hard evidence
  6. A legal ground for cancellation is gross misrepresentation of the resort (that it is not even built yet) or even a resort that doesn’t exist. These cases are usually timeshare scams. For this you will need to get evidence, then contact an attorney. If the timeshare company is a scam, then you can be sure there are others like you who have been duped. If you find you are the only one complaining, then it might be that you have misunderstood your contract, and would be best to contact the timeshare company to find ways to make your membership work for you.

  7. Avoid “your word against theirs” situations
  8. The timeshare cancellation can’t be based upon the words exchanged, unless you have recorded the conversation and can prove that the exchange took place. Otherwise, promises made verbally are just hearsay, and won’t stand up in any court. If the clauses in your contract do not reflect the services that you receive, then this could be grounds for cancellation, but again it can be costly and take a long time. A safer bet is to contact the timeshare personally and talk over the issues that you think are unreasonable. The timeshare company will work with you to keep you from cancelling.

  9. Find a solution that suits your needs
  10. If you just have changed your mind, then this is not a good reason that will allow you to cancel your timeshare. Cancelling a timeshare will cost you more than just keeping it, so save the cost and enjoy your timeshare. If you are having a problem paying the maintenance fees, then just rent the timeshare out. If this doesn’t work for you, then you can always sell the timeshare. You may even make a profit selling it rather than cancelling it.