When a company tells you that we sell your timeshare, in most instances it will be a legitimate business. Occasionally, you may come across rogue traders who are trying to fleece timeshare owners, and it is these you need to avoid.
Just recently, news reports have surfaced of the arrest of two brothers in California who conned unsuspecting timeshare owners out of a reported $350,000. Their tactic was to call owners up to tell them they had buyers ready and waiting. Owners were requested to pay brokers’ fees, closing costs and legal fees in advance in order to complete the sale, which never took place. Communications ceased once the money had been transferred. This tactic is typical of the few timeshare scams that do take place, but it seems offenders often use cunning ways to convince their victims that they are genuine.
Being a victim of timeshare fraud is rare, but in order to protect yourself, make sure you consider a number of factors.
Even if a firm sounds official or legitimate, do not take this at face value. Always do your research. In the recent fraud case, the business names used were American Timeshare Associates and Consumer Advocate Solution Headquarters, which both sound official but were actually fake. Check the business name to make sure it is registered and licensed to operate. A professional-looking website is not necessarily a total guarantee that a broker is legitimate, either, so do as much background research as you can and ask for recommendations from other owners for additional clarification.
Request Written Information
If a business tells you we sell your timeshare, ask them to send you written details about the business and how it operates. Make sure you spend time scrutinising this information and checking out facts online. Find out if any complaints have already been filed about the business. If you are unsure, take the documentation to a legal adviser or industry body that may be able to ascertain if the company is genuine or not.
No matter how friendly or convincing someone may sound, avoid giving out your personal details over the phone unless you can be completely sure you know who you are dealing with. Arrange to meet the person face to face if you are not sure, and even then, have your wits about you.
Keep Hold of Your Cash
You should never be asked to part with any money in advance of a timeshare sale. If this happens, walk away. If you want to sell your timeshare, a genuine broker will not ask for any money upfront.
If you do discover that a company you have been dealing with is operating fraudulently, make sure to report them to the appropriate authorities immediately so that they can be stopped in their tracks and prevented from causing further heartache to other owners.
- Friday, 04 September 2015 10:31