TIMESHARE SCAMS – WARNINGS – HEADS UP
According to a recent news story, over 10 million Americans own timeshares, making the thriving industry ripe for con artists.
Although timeshares often serve as money-saving investments for frequent travelers, they may prove costly if you don’t know how to detect a Timeshare scam.
Many companies lure potential customers with free stays at a timeshare in exchange for the client’s agreeing to simply sit through a timeshare presentation, but problems may arise once you agree to buy the timeshare property.
Timeshare scams range from hidden booking or maintenance fees to more extreme cases, such as companies suddenly going out of business once they secure your hefty deposit, leaving you without a timeshare.
Big Red Flag
Many people still don’t know to always avoid companies using 900 numbers, as the prefix is often associated with suspect companies. Due to a Federal Trade Commission ruling, 900 numbers must disclose how much the phone call will actually cost the caller. Prior to this ruling, many of these companies used such numbers to trick customers into thinking they were calling toll-free numbers.
Companies typically offer prizes to lure clients to timeshare presentations. Legitimate companies provide simple perks, such as a free hotel room or gift card, in exchange for your presence at a sale’s pitch.
However, a big red flag occurs when companies offer grand prizes, such as a brand-new car. Let’s get real, timeshare companies cannot afford to give lavish gifts to every potential client for simply showing up, and you will likely never see your promised reward.
Stay away from companies offering free hotel rooms and supposed discounted travel rates, such as airfare, when booking through a specific promoter. Often times, the promoter in question charges inflated rates and splits the profits with the timeshare company.
Payment For Participation
Never, Never, Never, pay for access to your prize. A legitimate timeshare business would never request a payment for your participation or charge a service to activate your prize.
If you want to buy a timeshare, leave the room if the sales pitch becomes too aggressive. Do not feel obligated to stay for the entire presentation if the sales associate applies too much pressure or causes you to feel uncomfortable.
Talk with other owners, particularly if you are staying at the timeshare resort where you are considering purchasing property.
Ask the other timeshare owners if they’ve experienced any big problems with the timeshare availability, maintenance and overall timeshare value, as well as any negative experiences with the company itself, such as unexpected charges or poor communication.
Always review the contract and documents with a lawyer. Allow yourself the opportunity to consider the offer. Take the paperwork with you once the pitch is over. Make certain the paperwork contains all the promises made during the presentation.
Do not sign a contract or any documents at the presentation. If you decide to sign a contract at the time of the presentation, get a copy immediately upon signing it. Do not allow the company to mail or email you a copy at a later date.
If you own a timeshare and would like know how to cancel a timeshare, to learn more about a timeshare cancellation see our frequently asked questions or give us a call.
To find out more about timeshare cancellation log onto our website:
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