Timeshare scams increase in bad economy
"Sir, I see you have a timeshare, want to sell it?"
More people are getting these calls from companies offer to unload their unwanted properties. People are getting ripped off by timeshare sales that never take place and owners are swindled for thousands of dollars every day , say local, state and federal officials.
A common story
Martha and Ron Reagan are among the victims. The couple flew to Cancun for their wedding anniversary and spend $18,000.00 for a two-bedroom, one week timeshare 10 years ago. They have used it once.
Last winter, Ron was laid off from his semi-retired job, he started looking on the internet for ways to sell their timeshare and recover at least part of their purchase. Reagan figured he could easily get $20,000 since he called the resort and was told that two-bedroom units were being sold for nearly $40,000. This money would help them pay for their mortgage until he was able to find another job.
After searching online, They got a call from Premium Resale's and Rentals in Florida. Within days, a company representative called them expressing they had found a buyer for their timeshare but needed $5,000 to pay for "title search, processing and handle ling fees",
Reagan sent a wire transfer to a bank in Mexico immediately. "I bought it all, never doubt they would send me the money afterwards" Recalls the 65 year-old maintenance worker.
"He had the right answer for every skeptical question I asked"
As soon as the transfer went through, another company representative called asking them for more money for more expenses. Reagan refused. Their salesman stopped answering calls or emails. voice mail was full and website soon was down.
"We were scammed" Said Martha, who said they have found other people´s story very similar to theirs online. On top of their loss, they still have an obligation to pay $950 in annual maintenance fees.
Timeshare fraud is increasing
Timeshare fraud has been around since the timeshare idea was created, but they increase during poor economy. When times are difficult, timeshare owners are stuck with properties they can´t travel to or even afford. Desperate to recoup some money to pay for bills, they can easily become victims to scams artists pretending to be their timeshare salvation who will take upfront fees -as much as five number figures in some cases- but fail to fulfill their promise.
You might receive a call from someone claiming they have immediate buyers or that your timeshare is hot in the market or that a corporation is interested in your timeshare. If you receive a call, act carefully.
The biggest warning signal is when they want you to send them money upfront.
With this economy, the resale of timeshares -even for a penny- seems unlikely to happen.
An option you might want to try is calling the resort and see if they will take it back. Historically, this is not an option for most resorts are being affected with the difficult economic times and a way to financially "breath" is by the maintenance fees they bill you every year -even if you do not use the timeshare-.
Best timeshare solution
Probably the most viable option is to cancel your timeshare and check if any money can be recovered. Even there, there are companies who will -that might be linked to resell scams- that will claim to have experience and knowledge in the in and outs of the industry to help you recover your deposit.
Most companies will ask you for a upfront fee; this is a red flag. Even if they offer a money back guarantee, avoid paying them anything unless they deliver their promised results.
Mexican Timeshare Solutions is one of the few companies -we don´t know of any other- that works under a contingency basis. You only pay for our services once your contract has been cancelled and any financial obligations with the timeshare developer are dismiss.
Contact today Mexican Timeshare Solutions for a free consultation of your timeshare situation and learn how we can help you get from under the burden of owning a timeshare.
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