Are you worried you’ve been caught in a timeshare scam?
If you’re nodding your head, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone. In fact, more than 60 percent of Americans say they’ve fallen victim to an online scam. From property scams to credit card fraud, scammers are getting increasingly creative with their tactics.
When it comes to buying or selling a timeshare, there’s no shortage of timeshare scams present. To ensure that you best protect yourself and your bank account, you’re going to want to read this guide. We’re uncovering nine red flags to look out for when it comes to timeshare scams.
From unrealistic promises and asking for upfront fees to being rushed and dealing with an evasive representative, these telltale signs are crucial to note.
1. Unrealistic Promises
First things first, the timeshare company is enticing you with endless promises.
When you really think about it, it’s clear that these promises aren’t realistic and won’t be fulfilled. If you feel that these promises are too good to be true, it’s important to listen to your gut.
For those that already own a timeshare, it’s important to consider these unrealistic promises when it comes to selling your timeshare. For example, many timeshare scammers will tell you that they have a number of buyers lined up to purchase your property. They may also promise you that they can sell your timeshare well above the current market value.
In return, the scammer will require you to pay a one-time fee for them to represent you in the sale. Unfortunately, once this fee is paid, you’ll never hear from the scammer again.
2. You Never Received a Contract
It’s important to understand that any legitimate timeshare transaction will require a contract.
Whether you’re buying or selling, the transaction as well as the representation must be outlined in a legitimate contract. If you still haven’t received a contract or you’re told that the transaction doesn’t warrant a contract, it’s time to think twice.
Don’t hesitate to ask your timeshare representative for a contract upfront.
3. Poor Quality Website
Who is the person behind the emails or the phone calls?
When speaking to someone about a timeshare sale, it’s crucial to know who this person is. This is why checking their website and reading online reviews about the individual is essential.
In today’s day and age, nearly every company has a company website. Not only does this website contain an array of useful information, but it also helps to prove the company’s legitimacy. Don’t hesitate to ask for the website of the person with which you’re dealing with. If they’re a reputable company, they will have a website to back them up.
4. Upfront Fees
Are you being asked to pay any upfront fees?
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It’s also arguably the most significant red flag associated with a timeshare scam. Any situation in which you’re being asked to pay an upfront fee should be avoided.
Remember, there should be no upfront fee associated with selling your property. Real estate agents only make their commission once the property has sold and the listing has closed. If an “agent” is asking for an upfront fee in selling your timeshare, it’s time to find a new agent.
5. There’s a Rush
When a scammer wants your money, they want to transaction to take place as soon as possible.
If you’re feeling rushed throughout the transaction, it’s unlikely this is a legitimate company. You should never feel that you have to make a quick decision or fulfill their request by a certain time or date.
If you’re getting involved with a high-quality timeshare, they’ll encourage you to take your time in making such a decision.
6. Evastive Attitudes
Is the person you’re communicating with seemingly evasive or devious?
For some, this may come in terms of avoiding your questions and directing you to an entirely new subject. For others, this might be through providing you with unsatisfactory answers to your questions or promising you unrealistic solutions.
When it comes to a timeshare, it’s crucial to have the utmost faith and confidence in the person you’re speaking with. If they’re being ambiguous at all, this is a significant red flag to look out for.
7. Unreputable Company
Have you ever heard of the timeshare company that you’re dealing with?
If you’re unfamiliar with such a company, it’s time to do your research. Look up online reviews and don’t hesitate to ask about other’s experiences with the company. When a timeshare company is legitimate, proving their legitimacy should be easy.
8. Unknown Callers
Are you receiving calls from unknown numbers?
In hopes of selling a timeshare, unknown numbers will call unsuspecting folks with the promise of an incredible timeshare opportunity. As technology continues to progress, scammers are finding more creative ways to steal money over the phone.
Unfortunately, elderly individuals are more likely to be targeted by these scammers than other categories of people. In fact, cybercrime against older adults have increased five-times since 2014. Timeshare scammers are especially interested in those who are on the brink of retirement and looking to travel.
9. Too Good to Be True
At the end of the day, if the timeshare sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
This concept is something that we learn from a very young age. When we’re promised the world, it’s important to think twice about whether this promise is truly legitimate.
If what you’re being promised is too good to be true, it’s time to speak with a timeshare specialist. Together, you can determine the best way to move forward or whether this company is to be avoided.
Signs It’s a Timeshare Scam
If you’re considering buying or selling a timeshare, it’s crucial to be aware of the timeshare scam.
As scammers get more and more creative, it’s has become increasingly difficult to determine fact from fiction. While there are legitimate timeshare companies throughout the world, there’s a large influx of illegitimate timeshare companies looking to steal your money.
If you’re in the process of trying to cancel your timeshare, be sure to contact our experts today for a free consultation. Together, we can walk through the basics of canceling your timeshare and protecting yourself along the way.