If you or anyone you know is seeking a way out of their timeshare or feels they were the victim of mis-selling and could make a claim for compensation against the resort, there are some important factors to consider before engaging the services of any individual or company and before you hand over any of your hard-earned cash.
Unfortunately, one thing that is common in anything to do with timeshare is that there are far too many untrustworthy companies that prey on owners. They understand that people are desperate to get rid of them and free from the financial burden they cause people, and they use this desperation to their advantage. Many owners find themselves in financial hardship, or ill health or other life factors come in the way of people being able to enjoy their timeshares. A lot of the time people become fed up and tired with their resort or perhaps they were mis-led in purchasing it in the first place, whatever the reason people want out, resorts make it incredibly difficult to leave. Because of these owners are forced to seek alternative exit options, which sometimes leads them to unscrupulous companies, whose sole aim is to take advantage and scam desperate timeshare owners.
Understanding what a timeshare scam is and how they work means you are less likely to fall for one and can spot a scammer when they call. A timeshare scam usually starts with promises or guarantee’s that your timeshare will be cancelled, or they will be able to get your money back for you, for an upfront fee of course. If you think about it, how can someone promise to get your money back when there are so many individual factors to consider before you even file a complaint with the resort. Each case is completely different, and because of this they need to be looked at carefully and each merit of the claim needs to be addressed and assessed for the likelihood of gaining a successful outcome. So, if someone contacts you claiming to be able to get your money back, ask them how they can be sure of this when they do not even have all the information to investigate the matter in the first place. When it comes to timeshare no-one can offer a cast iron guarantee and a company acting in good faith will not promise something, they know they cannot do.
Another scam we hear about often, but more common in the U.S is the timeshare resale scam. A cold caller, typically, will call you out of the blue claiming to have a buyer ready and waiting to purchase your timeshare. They will offer to facilitate this sale, for yet another fee upfront, and when you pay the sale will go ahead. However, often the so-called sale is fictious and there is no one ready to purchase your overpriced timeshare in the first place, they will simply take your money and disappear. People have lost tens of thousands on these types of scams in the hope that their initial timeshare purchase was not a complete loss, but the reality is there are very few timeshares that retain any value at all let alone ones where you can make a profit.
At Timeshare Finance Claims, we often hear from people who have been the victim of a timeshare scam. Sometimes they have been contacted out of the blue and promised everything under the sun to get them to sign up. Unfortunately, in addition to already suffering financial hardship or distress because of their timeshare, they are then subjected to being scammed over and over by unscrupulous individuals, who know they are desperate to get rid of their unwanted timeshares or holiday memberships. One very important factor to consider here is that if you are cold called by an individual or company, unless you gave them prior consent to call you, they are doing so illegally and if they cannot follow simple rules, like do not cold-call people, they are very unlikely to be acting within the constraints of the law.
If, like many other victims out there, you have found yourself in the situation where you have fallen victim to or handed money over to a company who has promised but failed to do any work for you, then you can make a claim against them for your money back, even if they have gone out of business or been forced to close by the authorities.
Protect yourself from timeshare fraud:
Never respond to cold callers – ask them how they got your information, what the company name is and report them. By cold calling you they are breaking the law and a nuisance to members of the public. If people report these instances, authorities can investigate, and they may be able to prosecute them and stop them from scamming future victims.
Do not pay for services upfront: If a company asks you to pay for any services related to your timeshare upfront, the best thing to do is end the call. No reputable company would ask for money upfront before even looking at the merits of your case and doing any work for you.
Check online first: There are many places you can go to look up a company that you are thinking of working with. Review sites can be a great place to start as they will give you a good overall view of how the company operates. You can also check to see if they are registered with any regulatory bodies as well, like the Financial Conduct Authority or Trading Standards. Doing a little bit of research pays off and lessons the risk of you engaging the services of a scam company.