Do you love vacations and want to invest in your future with a vacation ownership membership? It is a great way to effectively plan ahead to ensure great vacations for you and your family. However, you should be aware of timeshare scams. While they are not as common as in the past, timeshare scams can occur if you don’t know the signs to look for. Read below to learn the top warning signs you should know about so you can prevent a timeshare scam from happening to you.
- Company’s Reputation: A company’s good reputation means alot when considering which timeshare company to invest with. A bad reputation is obviously someone to avoid. However, what happens if a company has no reputation at all? If you come across a vacation ownership or timeshare company that you can’t find any information on, buyer beware! Scammers are able to find new victims by constantly changing their company name. By doing so, they can keep finding new victims to scam and avoid prosecution from authorities for fraudulent activity. Make sure to thoroughly investigate a timeshare provider before you buy from them. Remember, if you find they have no reputation at all, be very suspicious as you are likely dealing with a timeshare scam.
- Timeshare Network Member? Most reputable companies are part of a timeshare network partnership with other resorts around the country. If you find a vacation ownership provider that has no affiliation at all, that is unusual. Since today’s timeshare members want to have more variety and flexibility with their investment, the majority of reputable vacation ownership providers are part of a network. This allows their members to mix up their vacations and enjoy traveling to many different properties within the network as opposed to only being able to vacation at one particular location. A vacation ownership opportunity that is not part of a group or network is a warning sign that you may be dealing with a timeshare scammer.
- Valid Identification – Ask Sales Rep: Another important warning sign of a timeshare scam relates to the sales reps that promote the membership. If a sales representative or promoter is unable to provide proper identification you should be very wary. Sales reps that work for legitimate timeshare providers are given proper identification that they can show to potential clients. If they can’t produce a valid ID, that is a bad sign. Also, consider where the sales representative is working. Scammers are not allowed to legally work inside the airport or shopping centers, so if you find a random promoter around town be careful. To protect yourself from becoming a timeshare scam victim, always ask to see the promoter’s ID before you agree to attend a sales presentation. Don’t waste your time with a potential fraudster!
- Off Resort Interaction? Another warning sign in regards to timeshare scams is when a sales rep piques your interest about one resort but then takes you for a tour of a different resort than you wanted. It could be that they don’t actually work for the resort you are interested in so be careful. Also, where did they perform the sales presentation? Did they quickly take you on a tour of a resort, but then take you to another location to sign a contract or talk further? If so, that is a red flag to be aware of. Any sales rep who conduct a timeshare presentation off-site are likely not legitimate staff members for the resort they claim to work for so be careful!
- Always Follow Your Instincts: Do you have a general sense of unease or bad feeling about the sales rep? Did you notice little lies that the sales rep told during your conversations? If so, you may be putting yourself into a situation where you are dealing with a scammer. Legitimate timeshare sales reps are honest, professional and not allowed to misconstrue information about the vacation ownership membership. Therefore, if you feel your rep is not trustworthy, or if something just “feels off”, it probably is so listen to your gut and trust your instincts.
Remember these warning signs about timeshare scams to keep yourself safe. Vacation ownership memberships with genuine and reputable resort providers are an excellent investment for you and your family. Choose a reputable provider so you can avoid the stress and hassle of a timeshare scam.