While the vast majority of timeshare owners are very happy, having bought from well established resort developers , fraud against timeshare owners is still an issue these days.
It normally starts with very persuasive cold calls from people that often sound approachable and quite genuine, so here’s our 60-second guide on how to avoid being taken for a ride.
1) Be wary of letters, phone calls or emails from companies you’ve never heard of offering you a deal out of the blue. “Too good to be true”.
2) Be extremely wary of companies calling who say they have a buyer set up in advance – but need an upfront fee from you to enable the deal to go through.
3) Never, ever, hand out your credit card or bank account details to anyone over the phone, however genuine or friendly they may sound.
4) If you come across a timeshare website you’re not sure about, or receive a call or email from a company that sounds dubious, go to Mindtimeshare.com who have a list of rogue companies and will be able to advise you. In the meantime, do not offer up funds to the company that calls you – even if it’s just a “smallish” deposit.
5) If all timeshare owners (approximately 1.5 million in Europe) who receive cold calls from companies first verified the company with either RDO or Mindtimeshare before paying them something, fraud could virtually be eradicated.
6) It’s probably not your lucky day! If the caller says congratulations, you’ve won a prize or been chosen especially for “such and such a special deal”, chances are the deal is dubious.
7) Back to the reseller scams – if you already own a timeshare(s) and get a call from someone saying they can market your timeshare for a fixed fee and if it does not sell, they’ll buy it back from you – or offer to buy the timeshare if you agree to buy another one from them – this is most likely another form of fraud.
8) Finally, there’s nothing stopping you from hanging up! If someone has called you, and you don’t want to listen to their sales pitch, simply tell them goodbye and that they must not call you again.