Common Timeshare Scams (and How to Spot Them!)

In the realm of a timeshare, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

However, that’s not always the case, and it’s best to simply be aware of the potential adversities you might come across. In this case, timeshare scams are somewhat prevalent in the industry.

In this article, we will cover the most common scams so that you can avoid them. 

If you’re ready to become a timeshare enthusiast and secure your investments, keep reading.

Timeshare Scams: Advertisement Fee

In this scam, upfront fee firms solicit owners with emails, postcards, and phone calls. They tell timeshare owners that they can sell their ownership for prices comparable to their original price.

That is an inflation of the truth. In other words, they inflate the value of what the timeshare can share for, and lie to the owner to get them to pay an upfront fee for advertisements. If the owner is told they can sell for a high price, they might not be hesitant to pay an advertising fee.

The rationale is quite simple. If you give up a little money to score a bigger bag, then what’s the issue? If a company is really the best, then they will have enough faith in payment after the job is done, not before. 

Some upfront fee agencies have convinced government agencies and individuals that their services are legal and fair. It’s not the advertising fee that is the scam. It’s the lie that is told to acquire it.

Vacation Club Scam

These scams most often occur in a group presentation set in a large hotel or conference room. They will advertise things such as “never pay a fee again,” “let us take the timeshare off your hands,” “don’t leave your timeshare burdening your children,” so on and so forth. 

They will scour with ethical lows to sell the story. Once you attend, some of them will sell you on the idea of trading your timeshare for access to a club with no fees. They will show the regular price to join and tell you that you can join at a discounted rate or for free.

They will make it look like you are saving lots of money and ridding yourself of a financial burden. Other companies will promise to take the timeshare off your hands. In other words, you pay them to “buy” the timeshare. What happens to the timeshare? 

Well, the person selling a timeshare gets a profit, so they don’t’ really care how much it is sold for. What they do care for is the person selling the vacation club access, because they will get the money. In each scenario, you lose. There is no way out but by avoiding a way in.

Donation Scam

We all know that to donate is to make a gift. If you are donating your timeshare, you shouldn’t make payments. Some companies will collect timeshares, but for you to donate, you have to pay an appraisal fee. 

Once again, you pay them to take the timeshare for no cost, and then they sell it at auction. No appraisal is ever performed. They simply want to keep the profits from your delinquency. 

If there is no fee, you need to find out who is recording the title, how it is being done, and when it is done. Then confirm who is responsible for notifying the resort.

Follow up to ensure these steps have been taking, or you will find yourself in full ownership with a list of fees that you missed out on. When these companies ask for donations, they are praying on your desire to rid yourself of it.

Title Search

The scammer will tell you that they are agents and have successfully sold your timeshare. All that is needed is a simple title search. They will ask for you to pay for it with a check or credit card. They might even tell you that this fee will be reimbursed at closing. 

The scammer will often send you a legitimate contract to sell the story. Shortly after the funds arrive, they will disappear and disconnect their number. In some cases, they will call and say the buyer backed out, but they will keep the funds. They might try to dupe you once again when a “buyer” shows up.

If any of these timeshare scams happen to you, you will need an experienced timeshare lawyer to assist you with your needs.

Recovery Scam

As if a single scam was pleasant, some people are getting duped multiple times. A scammer might pose as an agent from a fraud recovery agency to mitigate the loss when you paid an upfront fee to a fake company. 

This scammer will say they are an attorney or work with one. They will sell the idea that they can recover the fee to some degree. But to do so, you have to fill out some forms and pay a retainer fee for the services provided.

The second rendition of this scam has a scammer calling you from the “original company” that scammed you. They will apologize for the inconvenience, listen to the concern, and offer a refund. They will ask for your credit card data to make the transaction. A refund will never happen, and you might see fraudulent charges.

Timeshare Galore

Now that you know the most common timeshare scams, you are well on your way to ensure that you are never a victim of them. As long as you keep a keen eye and analyze each situation with intricacy, you will not get duped. 

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