Timeshares were a great idea – you buy the rights to the same holiday home for set weeks each year and then you can book travel early on, save money and you know the place so no worries about a poor holiday.
But, that great idea was largely taken over by con artists who used high pressure sales techniques to get people signed up at huge expense and facing risings costs each year that they didn’t expect.
That collapsed and everyone realised it was better to stay away from timeshares.
But what about the people left with timeshares they can’t sell and facing high costs each year for basically no return?
Another generation of con artists sprang up to make life even worse for those people by making false promises – “We will sell you timeshare at no cost to you”.
Often they claim there is no upfront cost to you at all. But once they have you hooked – a variety of upfront charges appear, such as a closing fee which strangely has to be paid in advance of a sale or an assessment report needed for the sale to go through or Brokers fees (they will be allied to the Broker if it exists and hence get that money themselves).
The con artists take whatever they can from you (and many others) then disappear – the phone number goes dead, emails are bounced back, the company name turns out to have been false or they used the name of a legitimate company not connected with the scam.
Guaranteed Sale Scam
Watch out for companies that guarantee a sale as no company can realistically guarantee that. They can certainly guarantee to advertise it until sold, but that’s all. They’ll also likely tell you that you’ll get your money back at closing if anyone else sells it before they do, but that carries the same level of truthfulness as the guarantee i.e. none.
Be cautious of companies who guarantee to bring you an offer on your timeshare. What typically happens in these cases is that the same company who is guaranteeing to bring an offer will themselves make you the offer for a ridiculous price, maybe $100. This keeps their guarantee of an offer “legitimate,” but obviously isn’t what you had in mind. Guaranteed offers are never worthwhile.
The Buyer Waiting Scam
Some companies try to get you to sign-up by claiming they have a buyer waiting to purchase your property. Of course you’ll be required to pay a fee in order for them to forward this buyer to you. Once you pay the fee, the buyer either suddenly gets cold feet, or you never hear another word from the person or their company again.
Timeshare scams continue, so be careful. Don’t be caught out a second time.
If you have any experiences with Timeshare scammers do let me know, by email.