Contrary to popular belief, you still can find a lot of timeshare companies that are very honest in their dealings with customers and are very affordable places to stay without sacrificing quality. A quality timeshare company will offer a great vacation membership with lots of benefits for members. But beware, even though most official timeshare companies are not scams, you can still be involved in timeshare scams through other dealings. The following list provides 10 obvious signs that you are about to be involved in a timeshare scam. Here are some things you should look for if you are planning to buy a timeshare to avoid a scam.
1. You don’t have a timeshare contract
Alarm bells should start ringing if you are not given a copy of your timeshare contract. If you have transferred money to get a timeshare but have not signed a contract, then you may be at high risk for a timeshare scam—especially if you made the payment in cash. Always insist on taking your timeshare contract with you.
2. Timeshare resale scams
You are at particular risk of a timeshare scam if you are considering purchasing a timeshare that is being resold online. Not all timeshare resales are scams but you may want to take more caution before pursuing the deal.
3. You are sold a different timeshare than the one you thought
This scam involves showing you a remarkable timeshare resort but actually selling you a timeshare somewhere else. When you see this happening, you already know it’s the sign of a timeshare scam so make sure you check that the name of the resort(s) on your contract match where you think you are buying.
4. Buying timeshares off-site
This timeshare scam is related to the aforementioned scam. Sometimes an unethical timeshare sales agent will try to keep in contact with you after you have decided that you don’t want to purchase a timeshare. Later, you are contacted by your agent with an offer that is a lot cheaper than what was offered in person and you find yourself purchasing a timeshare at a lesser resort, or worse still a bogus timeshare membership.
5. Taxis taking you to a Different Resort
If you connect with a timeshare representative of a specific hotel or resort that takes you to a different hotel or resort chain for the timeshare presentation, then you are probably in the middle of a timeshare scam. Ask to be returned to the first hotel or resort you were shown. Sometimes taxi drivers are involved in this kind of timeshare scam.
6. Paying for your timeshare gifts
If a timeshare company charges you for your timeshare gifts, even if you stay at the presentation the entire required time, then you are probably involved in a timeshare scam. Most legitimate companies will not charge you for the gifts they promised to offer if you meet the minimum requirement for receiving it (this doesn’t include paying for discounted gifts). Legitimate timeshare companies will honor their offers even if you decide not to buy a timeshare.
7. Timeshare Cancellation Companies
The biggest threat of timeshare scams these days comes from timeshare cancellation companies. When a timeshare lawyer or cancellation company offers to carry out a timeshare cancellation on your behalf after the cooling off period, you are most likely heading into a timeshare scam.
8. Exchanging your old timeshare
Beware any timeshare company that tells you they can transfer your current timeshare ownership from another timeshare company or that they will buy it from you. The only time that this might be possible is when upgrading within the same timeshare company and the honor any equity that you have. The most common timeshare scam is when clients believe that the new timeshare company is going to purchase their old timeshare or sell it for them.
9. Being charged fees for rentals and timeshare sales
It’s always a warning sign when a company says they charge upfront fees for you to have the option to rent or sell your timeshare. Research this company to see if their business track record is reputable. If not, you best bet is to try a company that charges commission fees for the rent or sale of your property.
10. Cold callers to purchase or rent your timeshare
If you ever get a call from a timeshare company trying to persuade you to sell your timeshare, most likely this is a timeshare scam in the making —especially if the call came out of the blue.