Timeshare is something that has risen in popularity stakes over the years with its peaks and troughs. During this time it has become apparent to certain scoundrels and criminals that there is an opportunity to prey on innocent consumers and steal money under the guise of ‘incredible deals’ and promises of a lifetime!
There are many ways that these criminals will contact you, one of the most prolific being over the phones, but you will also be contacted by email and social media.
There is a ‘normal’ spiel that you will hear with variations of different scams that are rehashed and reinvented along the way. There is one which will sound something like ‘we have someone who wants to buy your timeshare now, they’re willing to pay you X amount of money and all you have to do is………….’ Any normal human being will hear this speak and immediately want to shout ‘yes yes yes’ I’ll do whatever it is I need to!!
Blinded by the numbers, and what normally happens is a failure to realise you are being asked to pay for this transaction in fees, upfront and with no guarantees. Inevitably, you pay your money, have hope in your heart and your buyer never shows, your money disappears and there is no trace of the criminal who has stolen your hard-earned money from you!
There are various other versions of this scam as well. For example, you might receive an excited phone call or email to say that you’ve won the ‘holiday of a lifetime’. You will be told that you need to ‘decide now or lose the opportunity’. You are being rushed into making a decision and all normal reasoning leaves the mind, these people are using words and desires to make you do something you wouldn’t normally dream of doing! They will entice you with temptation, tell you there is a small non-negotiable fee to pay for you to access your dream holiday and people pay it. Once you’ve paid it, you’ve lost it all! The holiday, the company, that person on the phone, your money, it all vanishes, like it never existed in the first place, because it didn’t!
Unfortunately not all of these scandalous scams leave you with nothing, they can sometimes leave you with 2 or sometimes even 3 timeshares – this is because another ploy used is an offer of a very attractive price for your existing timeshare in exchange for a purchase in another timeshare. The sale of your timeshare never happens, and you end up with two properties. There was a case, where a person was promised that both his timeshares would be sold after purchasing another timeshare. Again, the sale never happened and he was left with three timeshares. Not quite what he was looking for.
Timeshare resale scams are some of the most common fraudulent business activity out there. Sadly the chances of coming into contact with one are extremely high. You need to know who you can believe in and who you should avoid under any circumstances. You need to know when you are being ripped off and know how to avoid getting pulled into something that potentially will cost you a fortune and leave you with no benefits.
As mentioned before, the reason that these fraudsters are able to dupe and deceive so many people are because they genuinely have a reason, want or need to get rid of their timeshare, often to avoid the yearly, increasing maintenance fees, to give freedom to enjoy a different type of holiday or change in circumstances. The promise of money and return will often make people blind to the pitfalls and potential consequences and regrettably the people who are doing the job of selling you these lies, they have no moral compass and no care or compassion for the situation you may be left in.
Speaking to the clients we speak to on a daily basis, here at ABC Lawyers we say you can be 99% sure that if you are asked for an up-front fee for any type of transaction to take place, you are likely being conned. They will lie, sell and convince you that there is money waiting for you just around the corner, when in reality none of it exists and they just want your bank details and some £000’s. You might be offered money back guarantee’s or bonuses for completing the transactions, they’re not true.
You wouldn’t allow someone to walk up to you in the street, take £50 from you and say, now I’ll go and sell something for you. So why would you give a complete stranger, who has likely contacted you out of the blue, a chunk of money to do something for you on a ‘promise’. You shouldn’t, so don’t! If you need help, do some research and make sure you trust who it is you’re handing your money over to.
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