The popularity of timeshare rose through the years and has spread worldwide. Unfortunately, along with its popularity, opportunistic individuals have concocted various schemes to prey on your innocence to gain an easy buck. In fact, in recent years, there has been a rise in timeshare-related crimes.
You have to be aware of the many timeshare scams that are conducted over the phone. Usually, a group has organized a means to obtain a list timeshare owners, and contact them stating that they have received information from an interested buyer to purchase the property for an irresistible price. Upon hearing the overwhelming amount for the transaction, an owner is eager to close the deal. Before the completion of the transaction, the owner is required to pay a certain amount of brokerage fees. When payment is received, the transaction ends, and you are left hanging. Your supposed buyer never shows up, and your broker is nowhere to be found, nor is your money!
Another variation of this scam is, someone informs you of a holiday trip you’ve won. These trips are available within an 18-month time span, and you have to make a quick decision or lose your chance forever. To go through with your trip, you have to pay a certain miscellaneous fee. More often than not, after you pay the fee, you receive news that the company that offered you the prize has closed down and disappeared.
But not all scams leave you empty-handed. Another ploy used is an offer of a very attractive price for your existing timeshare in exchange for a purchase in another timeshare. The sale of your timeshare never happens, and you end up with two properties. There was a case, where a person was promised that both his timeshares would be sold after purchasing another timeshare. Again, the sale never happened and he was left with three timeshares.
How to Spot and Avoid Timeshare Resale Fraud
When you are trying to sell your timeshare there are plenty of thoughts that come to mind, and how to protect yourself from fraud usually isn’t at the top of the list. Unfortunately, timeshare resale scams are some of the most common business frauds out there and your chances of coming into contact with one are extremely high. So how do you know which companies you can trust and which ones you should avoid? In this short article, I will tell you how to effectively spot these scams, how to avoid getting roped into one, and where to find reputable timeshare resale companies who can help you sell your property.
Timeshare resale scams are so common and successful because people who are trying to sell their timeshare properties have a real need to dispose of them as quickly as possible to avoid paying increasing maintenance fees. By making exaggerated promises about the condition of the resale market and falsely claiming to have buyers lined up for the property, these scams convince people the only way to sell their timeshare is by paying high upfront fees, which is the biggest red flag that you may be walking into one of these scams.
Shady companies usually contact you by phone, email or Internet and ask you to call a phone number about your timeshare resale. The person you speak with will likely claim that the market is “hot” for timeshare resale when the truth is that the market changes based on location and what the prime season for that particular unit is. For a fee you pays in advance of between $300 and $700, some of these people promise to sell their timeshare at a profitable price or at least break even. They could even claim that you have a list of sales agents and prospective buyers interested in timeshare sales. While this person may have these lists, it is unlikely that the parties are interested in a timeshare resale. To convince you, even more, they can even offer you a money back guarantee or a government bonus if they do not sell your timeshare within a specific time frame.
How to be safe
One of the best ways to get rid of a timeshare contract and avoid timeshare resale scams is by hiring a third party consumer advocate company such as Primo Management Group. Consumer advocates such as Primo Management Group utilizes their ongoing experience to find the most effective ways to cancel a timeshare specifically to each client.
Using a timeshare resale company is also an option to get out of your contract, but it is important to know what to look for in these companies. Never pay upfront fees of more than $100 for these services or avoid them completely, and be wary of companies who say the market is “hot” or they have a list of interested buyers ready to purchase your property before it has even been listed. If they require you to pay money to list and assess your property, refuse to provide you with upfront information about the terms of their sales agreement, or claim the money you give them will be held in an offshore escrow account, it is in your best interest to keep looking for a different company. Any reputable company will happily answer any questions you have, don’t charge upfront fees, and will provide you with the information you require in writing before you make any formal agreement with them.
Protecting yourself from these scams is an essential part of selling your timeshare. By arming yourself with the knowledge to identify and avoid these scams you can sell your timeshare quickly, successfully, and without the hassle of dealing with the devastation these fraudulent companies can wreak on your life and your wallet.