• April
    15
    2019
  • 3 min read

Help Stop Timeshare Fraud With These Tips

Stop Timeshare Fraud

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Can you help stop timeshare fraud?

Do you want to help stop timeshare fraud? We hope you do, because these scams are everywhere. They target the vulnerable and use up valuable resources. The timeshare industry is so big and so strong, sometimes it seems impossible to fight back. But luckily, there are steps that you can take as a consumer to help stop timeshare fraud.

What is Timeshare Fraud?

Unfortunately, criminals are creative. So, there’s more than one kind of timeshare fraud out there. We don’t have time to go into detail on every timeshare scam we’ve ever seen, but most fall into two categories: sales fraud and resale scams.

Sales Fraud

Sales fraud can and does happen at all stages of the process. First, many sales reps promise consumers a free gift for attending the presentation. Sometimes the session lasts too long and even worse, sometimes consumers aren’t allowed to leave. Or the rep fails to award the free gift. Or the gift isn’t what the rep promised. These broken promises are one type of sales fraud.

Another type of sales fraud occurs when the sales rep makes false or misleading statements during the sales process. For example, the rep may embellish the condition, location, and amenities of the unit itself. Or they might misrepresent the difficulty of making reservations. Or they may fail to disclose information about the rescission period. And the worst kind of sales fraud, the rep sells a buyer a timeshare that doesn’t even exist. All of this constitutes sales fraud.

Resale Scams

But timeshare scams don’t stop at the sales presentation. If only! Instead, once you’ve bought a timeshare, you’ve opened yourself up to another kind of fraud: the resale scam. Timeshare resale scams target people trying to get out of their timeshares. The scammer contacts a timeshare owner and tells them they have a buyer for their timeshare. All the owner has to do is pay a fee upfront. But after the owner pays the fee, the buyer never materializes and the scammer walks away with the money. And the owner is still stuck with their unwanted timeshare.

Who Gets Hurt?

Timeshare scams directly hurt consumers but indirectly hurt everyone. Any consumer or timeshare owner is at risk for timeshare scams. However, timeshare scams commonly target the most vulnerable among us. Sales fraud targets happy vacationers. Then resale scams double-down on the sales fraud and target owners desperate to sell those very same timeshares the sales reps tricked them into. And most desperate owners simply can’t afford them anymore. So it goes without saying that they definitely can’t afford to be scammed.

But scams don’t just hurt the direct victims. They also hurt taxpayers and governments, whose hard-earned dollars are spent trying to prosecute scammers, educate the public, and stop future scams. So what can you do about it?

Can I Stop Timeshare Fraud?

No one can single-handedly stop timeshare scams. The industry is huge and criminals are good at hiding. But you can take some simple steps to help.

Educate Yourself

Knowledge is power! By knowing what to watch for, you can spot scams and fraud. Reading this article is a good first step. You can learn more from the Federal Trade Commission.

Report Scams

If you or someone you know has been targeted for a scam, report it to the FTC. Then they can take it from there.

Warn Others

After you tell the appropriate agencies, tell everyone else. Review the business online for everyone to see. Start with the Business Consumer Alliance and Google Reviews.

We see the effects of timeshare scams every day. And we fight back by helping people get out of their unwanted timeshares. If you need help, contact us for a free, no-risk consultation today.

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

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