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Beware of Timeshare Exit Company Scams
As a fellow timeshare owner, I understand how tempting it can be to purchase a timeshare at a discounted price. And I understand that sometimes the timeshare exit companies, are no better than the people who sold you the timeshare in the first place. They are misleading, dishonest, and unprofessional! They promise the moon but deliver nothing but heartache and disappointment.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of companies offering timeshare owners a substantial amount of money for their timeshares through online ads and telemarketing scams. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that there are over 2,000 fraudulent companies operating in the U.S. alone, most of which are based out of India. These unscrupulous companies use deceptive sales tactics to entice people to sell or cancel their timeshares.
Don’t let them fool you into thinking that paying thousands of dollars up-front to cancel a worthless timeshare is your best option. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to! You DON’T have to stay stuck with a timeshare that doesn’t meet your needs or bring you any value whatsoever! In today’s world, there are more options than ever to get out of your timeshare without paying anything upfront. You just need to know where to find them.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common scams that are perpetrated by these companies, and how you can avoid them.
Common Timeshare Scams
As summer vacations are coming to an end, most Americans are already looking forward to getting out of their timeshares before the next year. Sadly, the timeshare scammers are one step ahead.
They know that most people want to get out of their timeshares as quickly as possible so that they can put their money into something else that will benefit their family instead. The most common timeshare scams involve predatory companies and unlicensed individuals trying to trick unsuspecting consumers into selling their timeshares to them.
These companies often advertise their services on websites and social medial channels in order to generate leads that they can use to pitch their services to prospective buyers. However, many of these companies are simply out to make a quick buck and have no real interest in helping consumers get out of their timeshare contracts.
Here are some of the most common timeshare scams that you should be aware of:
Timeshare Telemarketing Scams
Timeshare telemarketing scams usually consist of a timeshare scam company contacting you and asking about a recent timeshare that you have listed. When the individual calls, he/she may ask if you own a specific timeshare, and if you are still interested in canceling your timeshare.
In the conversation, the salesperson will say something like, “perfect, we have someone interested who’s willing to pay $19,900.00 for your timeshare, but we need a 10-20% down payment to get started.” If you end up paying that down payment, you are out of luck because no reputable company will ask you to pay this much for resale.
This type of call is usually a scam and you should immediately hang up the phone if you receive one.
Timeshare Listing Company Scams
Timeshare listing scams are widespread in the timeshare industry. A listing company will boast about their listing record and how fast they can sell your timeshare, and some will even claim they have a buyer secured. The listing companies typically have a membership fee requirement that can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Once the listing company takes your money, they have no real reason to sell your timeshare, matter of fact they will reach out to you again and ask you to re-list your property with them after your contract expires, which means more money is down the drain. Be aware of such timeshare listing scams!
Timeshare Identity Theft Scams
Identity theft scams are usually when a con artist claims he/she is from a legitimate business and is interested in either buying your timeshare or selling it for you. When these people call, they will have all the information ready and will claim they are calling from an XYZ company. They will have the name of an employer from the XYZ company alongside the employer tag. Oftentimes, the person will even be able to provide an email address from the company he works for.
When all the information checks out, the individual will ask for a set payment. Many individuals have fallen for such scams and have wired over thousands of dollars. If you do not want to be a victim of any timeshare exit scams, do not accept or respond to uninvited e-mails or phone calls from anyone who claims they can sell or rent your timeshare.
Timeshare Rental Scams
Timeshare rental scams are one of the most common types of timeshare scams out there. But they aren’t always so easy to identify! For many of these scams, the callers are very persistent and often prey on elderly people who have questions about renting their timeshares.
With everything from phony “listing services” to elaborate websites dedicated to renting timeshares on behalf of owners, there is no shortage of opportunities for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. Because of the popularity of timeshare rentals on sites like Airbnb, there is a common misconception that it is easy and safe to rent out your timeshare through an online classified site like Craigslist or eBay.
But what happens is the scammer will try to sell you a “guaranteed rent” plan that will make you money by renting your timeshare while you are not using it. This sounds great in theory but in reality, it often only leads to frustration and financial loss. Common traits of this scam also include high-pressure sales tactics, shady guarantees, and promises of high rental income. These scams can be particularly hard to distinguish from those conducted by legitimate companies since many copycat sites look very similar to real online listings and may even have an established track record of success.
This is why it’s important to never purchase anything online or over the phone that you are unsure of or that sounds too good to be true. It’s always better to be skeptical when dealing with a stranger—especially when it comes to money.
2022 Lawsuits Filed Against Timeshare Exit Schemers
A new lawsuit was filed on June 23, 2022, in federal court in Alaska against 7 corporations and 8 individuals who have collectively operated a timeshare exit scheme. The State Attorney General of Alaska – Treg Taylor, says the defendants made false representations and offered deceptive deals to consumers in an effort to get them out of their timeshare contracts.
Nine Alaskan consumers were targeted, reportedly paying over $113,000! If you fall for this scam, you will likely see similar charges against you in the future. To learn more about this lawsuit, click here.
On October 6, 2022, a Superior Court jury in New Jersey voted in favor of consumers who were misled by FantaSea Resorts. A whopping total of $1,069,285 was awarded in damages for the timeshare owners who were deceived by the defendants.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants misrepresented the business’ services by providing false information that was in direct violation of the New Jersey Real Estate Timeshare Act (RETA). To learn more about this lawsuit, click here.
What To Do If You've Been Scammed Already?
If you have been the victim of a timeshare scam, you are encouraged to file a complaint with the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a government agency that protects consumers’ rights and investigates companies that make unfair or deceptive claims about their products.
It is also encouraged you file a complaint with the state attorney general’s office in your state of residence as well as the Justice Dept in your state of ownership. Contact information for each state can be found online since these are government agencies. Additionally, you can contact our team so that we can help guide you through the process as well.
Please note, once money has been paid up-front to any scammer claiming to be able to help sell your timeshare then you will not be able to recover your money. Timeshare theft is on the rise, and there is not much that can be done about a refund. However, the state attorney general’s office and the FTC are still considering ways to prosecute fraudulent companies and work towards creating stricter laws to prevent these types of scams from happening in the future.
If you are concerned about your timeshare situation or if you have given any money to someone claiming to be able to help you sell your timeshare then we urge you to contact our team immediately so we can start the investigation for you
Always work with a licensed professional! Or you can reach out to us so that we can help you find the best timeshare exit company for your situation. Start a Live Chat with one of our agents or you can give us a call at (833)-931-6555 for more information.
There are numerous timeshare scams every year, protect yourself. Contact our team so we can help you determine if a timeshare exit company is legitimate, and we recommend working with timeshare exit companies that offer escrow, so you pay no up-front fees. Know your legal rights so you can exit your timeshare. Read over our website and fill out the form on the right or contact us through Live Chat for a free informational consultation.
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