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.
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.
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.
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.
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