As you will see from the many stories that are available to view online and in magazines and newspapers, timeshare is big business. However, timeshare scams are probably a bigger business. Scams are rife all over the world and very much so in the USA where timeshare is forever growing.
We at ABC Lawyers came across a timeshare scam hotline who in turn answer questions regarding timeshare scams and give advice on what to look out for and what you need to know. Timeshare Specialists Inc. run the timeshare scam hotline out of Montana and their aim and role is to help people all over the USA who have been scammed.
One of the questions that is out there at the moment is, are timeshare scams a big problem and is the problem getting worse? The answer from the specialists is a resounding YES on both counts. Timeshare Specialists Inc. have been fighting this particular battle for over a decade. Currently the timeshare re-sale market is one of the top 10 places you can be scammed. The reason you can get scammed so easily, regrettably it is all because of poor information, poor research and incorrect selling when buying your timeshare. There are roughly 10 million timeshare owners in the USA, with each spending roughly $20,000 when they purchase their timeshare. What they fail to realise or haven’t been told is that once purchased their timeshare is worth pennies to the dollar on the resale market. A perfect opportunity to be taken advantage of, consumers will decide for whatever reason that they want to sell their timeshare, enter the market and find out that there is nothing out there and no one wants to buy. The con-men will take this opportunity to swoop in on unsuspecting, trusting people, promise them the world for a fee, take the money and never be seen again! This is a super common occurrence that is becoming more and more frequent as the industry grows.
What is really scary is that these con men and women are becoming more adept at their game and getting more believable as time goes on. Approaches to the con are changing as times are changing and people are reporting on it more and more, they will even go so far as trading in legitimate companies names (that are no longer in operation) to really pull the wool over people’s eyes!
The hotline that has been created is a free service and open to anyone. consumers can call and get free information and advice on how to avoid a scam, what to look out for in a scam and the best way to work your way around the timeshare resale market if that is what you are looking to do. They will also give you the tools and information you need to check the legitimacy of anyone who may have contacted you looking to help you sell your timeshare.
Timeshare Specialists Inc. are both a closing company and broker, they are in a unique position to provide that information. They know the going rate of every timeshare week out there and know that some have value, but that many don’t.
As you can imagine, most timeshare owners expect that their timeshare would be worth what they paid for it, so if a scammer gets in touch and offers $20,000 that wouldn’t seem unusual for a consumer, however, the scammers prey on this type of attitude and misconception and take advantage of people because of it. The guys on the end of the hotline know this and can help people ward off the evil scammers!
The hope is that the helpline will give advice before the consumer sends their hard earned money to the scammers. That they will be there to provide information and support answering questions, before the con men or women get their teeth into them and their credit card details. The ultimate goal is to shut down scammers and make sure consumers are educated and well-versed before they have irreversible interaction with people who have no moral standing and only want to take your money for nothing!
People all over the USA and the world are falling victim to these types of scams and it’s time we educated people about what these sharks look like and what they will do or say to get your money…. Here’s what to look out for:
• If your phone rings or you get an email about your timeshare that you haven’t asked for, your pretty much guaranteed it’s a scam. Your information is freely available on line and these sharks will find you online and make contact offering you the world on a stick!
• Don’t wire money – if you are going to make a transaction – do it with a credit card, protect yourself!
• Don’t pay an up-front fee to sell your timeshare, there is no buyer! They want your cash and will disappear when they have it!
• Don’t just go to anyone if you need to get out of your timeshare, do the research, put the time in and make sure someone trustworthy is helping you. (a clue is they won’t ask you for money first!)
• Trust your instincts, you wouldn’t buy a house from someone you didn’t trust, this is the same thing!
See our recent post regarding ABC helping out.