Don’t be a Victim of Common Timeshare Scams

Timeshare con artists are at it again. A news report this week told about how a woman who was looking to sell her timeshare found an online company who said they could do it and of course, asked her to pay up the money up front. Two months have passed and her $1,800 is gone with no timeshare sale.

It’s terrible to hear of stories like these where good, honest people are robbed of their hard earned money. The best way to keep from being a victim is to be armed with information.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to protect yourself and ensure a safe transaction in the rental or sale of a timeshare.

  1. Use an escrow account. There are many escrow companies available that that will hold funds until the delivery of the deed. First American Title Insurance Co. is a great resource.

  2. Do your research. Below is a list of questions and things to do:
    Contact the resort to verify ownership status of the person you are buying/renting from:
  • Is that person indeed the owner?
  • Do they own the week/unit they have advertised?
  • Are there any unpaid maintenance fees/assessments that would:
a. prevent a renter from checking in to the unit, or
b. transfer to the new owner

For Rentals:
  • Ask the owner for a list of references from past renters

  • Complete and sign a rental agreement

  • Never pay 100% of the rental price up-front (depending on how close the transaction is to the check-in date)

  • Pay 50% of the rental price up-front, and the remaining 50% when you receive written confirmation FROM THE RESORT that the reservation has been placed in your name (it's also a good idea to phone the resort to ensure your reservation is secure)

  • Never pay via wire transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). For more details on payment methods and comparisons visit your favorite timeshare site.

Fraud is serious business. Don't make quick decisions when it comes to your hard earned money. Take the time to conduct your own research, ask questions, and go with your instincts. See the largest timeshare marketplace online for more information on ways to protect yourself from timeshare scams and fraud.
1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks so much for these great tips. I sure want my experience to be hassel-free when I buy my timeshare!

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