Mar 29, 2017
In today’s day and age, just about anything having to do with the exchange of money – including buying and selling timeshares – can be a scam. In fact, there are several different timeshare scams out there that you should watch for. Here are five ways to spot such scams and save yourself from becoming a victim.
#1 – Don’t Fall for the Random Phone Call
It’s very, very rare for a company in business to sell timeshares to call you up out of the blue and offer you an amazing deal. Oftentimes, this happens when scammers make lists of people who they feel are likely to fall for the scam. They may provide you with detailed information about costs, benefits, and more, and they may even seem completely legitimate. If this happens, ask the caller for his or her name and the name of the timeshare company. Then, do some online research about that company before you make any decisions.
#2 – Watch for Anonymous Buyers
Another scam that is prevalent in the timeshare industry is the “anonymous buyer” scam. If you’re selling a timeshare, these scammers will contact you and tell you they have a buyer who is very, very interested. They’ll tell you that all you need to do is to pay the closing costs, and you’ll have your money. Unfortunately, they just take your money and you never hear from them again. When possible, communicate directly with the interested buyer and never, ever pay closing costs to someone who calls you on the phone or contacts you from an email address you don’t recognize.
#3 – Don’t Pay Hundreds of Dollars to List Your Timeshare
If you’re having trouble selling your timeshare, be sure that you aren’t falling for the listing scam. There have been some cases in which companies have contacted struggling sellers, offering to list their timeshares on very prominent sites in order to help them sell. The problem is that they charge anywhere from $600 to $2500 to do it, but don’t really list your timeshare anywhere at all. If you choose to get help with selling your timeshare, make sure you choose a reputable company.
#4 – Read Online Reviews
The vast majority of timeshare scams can be avoided simply by researching the company who is contacting you. The internet provides a wealth of information, and the Better Business Bureau (or BBB) is a great place to start. Here, you can read all about different timeshare companies, including the good and the bad, to help you decide which one is right for you. Keep in mind, though, that you’re far more likely to see complaints than praise. It’s important to take the things you read with a grain of salt.
#5 – Don’t Use Bank Wire Transfers or Money Orders
Last, but most certainly not least, always protect yourself when you make any sort of payment. If you’re asked to pay fees or buy your timeshare with a bank wire transfer or money order, don’t. There is no way for you to stop or reverse these payments once they’ve been initiated, and scammers know this. If these are the options you’re given, steer clear of that particular company or individual.
Timeshare scams aren’t as rare as most people would like to think. In fact, with so many people finding the value in purchasing or selling timeshares, there are more scams than ever. These tips can help you protect yourself, though, and ensure that you can buy or sell your timeshare without any hiccups.