Timeshare Scams

February 6, 2012 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

The FBI is warning timeshare owners to be wary of two interrelated scams presently going on around the country.  The scams initiate with a telephone call or email form the scammer to a timeshare owner in which the scammer represents that he or she is a timeshare broker who can provide a sale of the timeshare owner’s unit within up to ninety days.  After a high pressure sales pitch, the timeshare owning victim is told that he or she must first pay a number of fees such as listing fees and advertising fees.  Much to the chagrin of the timeshare owner, once the fees are paid, the scam artist disappears with the money after doing nothing to market the timeshare unit.

Relatively soon thereafter, however, the victimized timeshare owner often finds that he or she is contact by another scammer, this time posing as someone involved with an agency that recovers money for people who have been scammed.  Again, there are upfront fees to be paid that, once paid, end the relationship with the scammer who is never heard from again.  Often this second round of scamming the same victims is done by either the original scammers or someone to whom the name and contact information of the scam victim has been sold.

TIP

Be wary of anyone offering to sell your timeshare unit who wants upfront fees paid before obtaining a legitimate buyer.  Check out the person or company offering the assistance with the FTC, your local attorney general and the Better Business Bureau.   As for anyone offering help in getting your money back, the request for upfront fees should be a good indication that they are not legitimate.  You should also check them out with the FTC, your local attorney general and the Better Business Bureau.