How did you acquire your timeshare? Was it through a promotion that appeared in your mailbox? Perhaps you accepted a free dinner offer in exchange for attendance at a sales presentation. Regardless of how they succeeded in reeling you in, you now own a timeshare that you no longer want but can’t for the life of you seem to unload.
You are now in a dangerous position. The more desperately you want to rid yourself of this albatross around your neck, the more likely you may be to fall for a timeshare resale scam.
The Timeshare Resale Ploys
The timeshare resale scammers have known for years what you may just now be finding out: The resale market for timeshares is nearly nonexistent. The swindlers also seem to know exactly when to approach you. One day, you receive a phone call out of the blue. Miraculously, the caller has uncovered a prospective buyer just itching to purchase your timeshare on a cash basis, and for a reasonable upfront fee, the scammer will gladly arrange the connection. It’s a chance to get rid of your timeshare, and what could be better than that? In truth, almost anything could be.
How long will it take the scammer to disappear? About as long as it takes to receive the money you send him. That’s because there never was a buyer. You’ll soon be out that upfront fee, and the timeshare will still be yours.
This is a common timeshare resale ploy, but it’s only one of many. In others, the fake reseller may:
- Claim to represent a large national corporation that wants to buy your timeshare for business reasons. They will mention a phenomenally high purchase offer and warn that if you don’t act now, you’ll lose the chance forever.
- Verbally offer a refund of your advance payment if you manage to sell the timeshare on your own. Unless it’s in the written contract, that’s not going to happen.
- Guarantee to have your timeshare sold within a certain number of weeks or months. In some states, this type of assurance is illegal.
Avoiding the Timeshare Resale Scammer
Not all timeshare resellers are out to get you. Some are licensed and legitimate. The trick is in learning which are honest and which are not. For your own protection, you must be careful to avoid:
- Working with anyone who expects you to pay a fee in advance, especially if they agree to accept nothing but cash, a money order, or a wire transfer.
- Unsolicited contacts from people who claim to have ready-and-willing buyers. That is not at all likely to be the case.
- Signing a contract on the spot. Take it home first and read it carefully.
- Doing business with anyone who refuses to meet with you in person.
- Dealing with an individual who cannot provide a legitimate phone number and business address.
Always be suspicious of calls coming from 900 numbers. This prefix is popular with con artists. It will also help to investigate any company with which you hope to do business. Scammers will often steal the identities of legitimate, licensed brokers. A call to any number that they may have provided should clarify the situation, and you can also check with the Better Business Bureau.
Remember, legitimate timeshare resellers aren’t as common as scam resellers. Be especially suspicious of anyone who claims to have an eager customer waiting in the wings. If timeshares were that easy to unload, buyers would be calling you directly.
If a scammer has approached you about getting out of your timeshare contract, do not make a move. Contact O’Grady Law to see if there is alternative to rid yourself of your timeshare. If you have any questions or concerns about ridding yourself of your timeshare we can surely answer them. Please do not hesitate to give us a call.