How to Avoid a Timeshare Resale Scam

For as long as there have been timeshares, there have been people willing to do almost anything to get out of their contracts. And, for as long as there has been money, there have always been people who will do unscrupulous things to take it. That combination often leads to disastrous results.

Instead of asking “How can I get out of my timeshare?” it is probably better to ask “How can I get out of my timeshare contract?” These are two very different inquiries. Moreover, they lead you in two different directions. People who want to get out of their timeshares may gravitate to a scammer, and an owner who wants to get out of a timeshare contract will probably call a reputable attorney.

Who Made the First Move?

If the company contacts you first, that is a red flag. The flag is even a brighter, darker red if the company also makes big promises and says anything about a “hot timeshare market.” The timeshare resale market is never “hot.” Furthermore, in the words of the Federal Trade Commision, never pay for a promise.

An aggressive company should not be a deal-breaker. After all, the company may honestly believe it can help and that customers are reluctant to make the first move. So, research the company online before you sign anything. Be wary of Yelp and other review sites, as there is no guarantee that the review is honest.

Do They Want Money Upfront?

All timeshare retail scammers demand money upfront. They usually claim it is for closing costs or processing fees or something like that. Such requests are always a bad sign.

Some scammers bait the hook a little. They do some groundwork or are responsive to your initial inquiries. But before they actually agree to do anything, the money demand comes. Once the fund’s transfer occurs, it is difficult to reverse, even if you have anti-fraud protections on your credit card or other accounts.

Do not pay any money until the company provides a detailed contract. This agreement should include details about the company’s services and a schedule of future payments if any.

Are You Throwing Away More Money?

The double-dipping scam is one of the fastest-growing consumer scams in Florida. After one company takes your money, another one promises to get it back. At this point, many consumers make decisions based on emotions instead of reason. The scammer hopes that you are angry at the other company because that anger makes it easier to take advantage of you. Angry people often do not think clearly.

Once again, never pay for a promise. Instead, work with a consumer protection attorney. You may have some legal options in terms of recovering your lost investment.

Timeshare resale scammers are very adept at taking your money. For a free consultation with an experienced timeshare attorney in Hollywood, contact The People’s Advocate. Our main office is conveniently located near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Sheridan Street.

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