Timeshare scams can take different forms, with each designed to exploit unsuspecting individuals who are interested in owning a holiday home abroad. Some of the most common types of timeshare scams can be found below.
Resale scams are undoubtedly the most widely used type of timeshare scam. Resale scams involve fraudsters targeting people who already own timeshares and are looking to sell them. They pose as resale agents or companies and claim they have buyers who are interested in buying the timeshare. Often, they will ask for fees upfront in order to list or advertise the timeshare, or for administrative costs or closing fees, only to vanish once they’ve received the payment.
Timeshare Exit Scams
Timeshare exit scams are also relatively prevalent. They involve scammers targeting existing timeshare owners who want to exit their contracts. Usually, they will claim to be able to help you get out of the contract for a fee, which they will ask to be paid upfront. These fees can be hefty, ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds. Scammers might use legal jargon to sound professional or say that they have connections with legal professionals who can assist you.
In a bait-and-switch scam, an individual is promised a free or low-cost holiday in exchange for attending a timeshare presentation. At the presentation, they will be shown a specific property, location and amenities that usually seem too good to be true. Usually, it is, as when the time comes to complete the deal, they are presented with a different property that’s less desirable. It may be in a less luxurious location or have lower-quality accommodation.
Scammers often claim that the initial property isn’t available anymore or that it comes with extra costs or restrictions. The next step is for the scammer to pressure the individual into signing the contract, stating that the second option is only available for a short period of time and warning them not to miss out. The result is often buyer’s remorse, with the victim realising that they’ve been deceived into buying a timeshare that doesn’t meet their needs or expectations.
Timeshare Donation Scams
Timeshare donation scams have become increasingly common in recent years. They involve scammers claiming to represent a charity and then offering to help you donate your timeshare to them, exploiting the owner’s desire to get rid of their financial burden whilst contributing to a good cause. Scammers will often reach out to a timeshare owner through unsolicited phone calls, emails, or even fake websites. They may overexaggerate the value of the timeshare to make the donation seem more appealing to the seller.
The victim will usually be asked to pay upfront fees in order to proceed with the donation process, after which the scammer disappears. Not only is there no actual charitable donation, but the owner is left without a timeshare and out of pocket due to paying the upfront fees.
Timeshare scams like these can have an incredibly serious impact on your finances. If you think you’ve fallen victim to one of these scams, consult with a timeshare lawyer who can provide you with expert advice and guidance. Call Sarah Waddington Solicitors on 01924 601 094 to discuss your requirements.