Avoid Timeshare Cancellation Scams by Upgrading
December 16, 2017
Our topic this week is how you can avoid timeshare cancellation scams by upgrading your membership to get the most out of you vacation ownership. When people get to a stage at which their timeshare memberships no longer suit their needs, they are more likely to fall into the traps laid by timeshare cancellation scammers; they begin to feel that there’s no other way to sort it but to get rid of their membership. This is how the scammers make it sound, anyway, but many people don’t realize that upgrading your membership is always an option.
Below you will read about some of the common worries people have about their timeshare and how to avoid timeshare cancellation scams by upgrading.
I’ve been told by a timeshare cancellation company that my timeshare is a scam.
Firstly, you should never believe what a timeshare cancellation company is telling you. Why? Because they are scams. How can I be so sure? Because you cannot cancel a timeshare. Your contract is legally binding. Once the cooling off period has passed, known as the recission period, there is no legal way (or any way, for that matter) of so called “cancelling” a timeshare. Timeshare cancellation scammers are experts at making you think that the timeshare you have bought is a scam.
How do timeshare cancellation scams convince you that your timeshare is a scam?
New timeshare owners are most at risk of being falsely convinced that their timeshare is a fraud by timeshare cancellation scams. Why? Well if you look at some of the more common timeshare complaints online you will note a common theme. Usually they are complaints from a person who bought a timeshare and found it was hard to reserve the weeks or suites that they wanted. Often this is because the timeshare member bought the lowest level membership available and so were restricted to booking the most popular days and units in each year. This means that demand is as high and so people can be looking at having to book two years in advance. New owners are therefore at a disadvantage as most of the best dates and units will already have been booked. At this point, people can start to worry that they have been scammed, and this is where cancellation fraudsters will step in to begin their manipulation. Timeshare cancellation scams play devil’s advocate, trying to convince you that the timeshare is a scam and that you should pay for their fraudulent services.
What’s the real solution?
The best solution in these instances is to think about upgrading; upgrading will offer greater flexibility and freedom, and will make it easier to book your vacations short notice (as well as letting you stay in more locations). More often that not, new timeshare owners think they have bought a scam because it seems that can’t make the reservation they want. But, when they have a higher level timeshare membership, they will have greater choice of suites and will not be competing with the more popular cheaper options.
What you need to watch out for when upgrading
Just make sure that you are definitely upgrading your timeshare rather than buying a second membership which will run in tandem; don’t be fooled into thinking that a competitor will buy and upgrade your membership for you, it’s simply a second membership and you will be expected to pay for both.
Alternatives to upgrading to avoid timeshare cancellation scams
Alternatively, rather than upgrading your timeshare, you could take less regular vacations and save your points up to have special getaways every other year (if you are short on points), or you could rent your week(s) out if you can’t get time off every year. Finally you could book any week that comes up and exchange it through companies like RCI and International Exchange if you fancy travelling the world on the back of your membership.
The key to successful timeshare membership
If you view your membership as an investment in your future vacations at today’s prices you will see the value in upgrading when and where possible; once you have become a timeshare member with a reputable company you can do this without issue. This way you will always get the very most out of your membership!
Beware timeshare cancellation scam companies
Be very, very wary of people who claim to be able to be able to recover your funds and cancel your membership. There are laws in place to protect consumers, of course, and this means there is a period of time in which you can simply cancel your membership. If you’re within this “cooling-off” period you don’t need help to cancel your membership, and if you’re not within that time period anymore these people cannot help you anyway. If you have a problem with your membership the first person you talk to should be a representative of your provider.
Timeshare Scams – Mexican Resales
September 27, 2017
Timeshare scams on Mexican resales are a continuing issue, and the fraudsters target even the happiest of Mexican timeshare owners. In fact, the scammers seem to be getting more and more sophisticated, too. In the past it was easier to tell a fraudulent company than it is now; a few simple checks such as checking the Better Business Bureau for comments and an internet search could do the trick to identify timeshare scams. These days the rise in identity theft means that the name of the resale agent or company could lead you to believe that you’re dealing with someone legitimate who represents an upstanding company.
Timeshare Scams, Mexican Resales, and Identity Theft
The most common trend at the moment is for a group or individual to pose as a legitimate Mexican resale company or real estate agent; very often they will steal the identity of a “real” company to pass themselves off as a genuine provider. They can be surprisingly sophisticated and may even deploy a dummy website, and if they’re contacting you directly they might even use the name of a person who actually works for a specific company in order to fool you.
This means that by the time victims cotton on to the timeshare scams, they’re generally already out of pocket!
How do timeshare scams affect Mexican resales?
Generally speaking, what happens is that timeshare owners are contacted by Mexican resale scammers who claim that they already have a buyer lined up for their timeshare membership. Usually this buyer will be willing to pay huge amounts of money, and will be in a rush… but they will need to complete “certain checks” and so you will need to fill in paperwork and wire them some money. This money is merely to cover the cost of title searches, surveys, etc, of course and you will make it back when you sell… Or so you think!
Except when the brains behind the timeshare scams have your money they will either disappear entirely or you will be told that there’s an anomaly which needs verification. Which will, of course, require that you send them more money for the Mexican resale procedures. This process will continue for some time, until many consumers begin to feel that they are “in too deep” to back out and stop paying the extra fees. They go on in hope that the sale will eventually go through. Of course it never does, and many people end up in real debt as a result.
Don’t focus on the name
The key to avoiding such resale scams in Mexico is to think about the way the company operates rather than who they claim to be. They may have a legitimate name so no amount of research will tip you off, but the way they speak and display themselves will tell you everything you need to know. Take a look at the key signs to know you are walking into a timeshare scam for Mexican resales.
Are they professional, or do they used pressuring, aggressive language? Is written communication professionally worded and free of spelling and grammar errors? Pay close attention to contracts you’re asked to sign.
Wiring payments for Mexican resales
If you are asked to wire money take this as a warning sign.
Are they offering too much money for your resale?
Are they offering much more than you were told the timeshare is worth? Check the market to see what’s reasonable; if it seems too good to be true it likely is and you are probably heading into a timeshare scam.
Manipulation and feeling patronized
If they patronize, try to make you feel guilty, pile on the pressure, or become aggressive or even passive-aggressive take this as a warning sign. Scammers will use psychological tricks to manipulate their victims.
Trust your gut about timeshare scams; there’s much to be said for intuition. If you don’t feel right back away.
Only you can recognize when someone is trying to scam you, but if you are savvy, cautious, and you keep in mind what we have told you today you will find that your risk is significantly reduced. Remember resales timeshare scams are not restricted to Mexico, either; scams can happen all over the world.
Timeshare: What are the signs of a scam?
August 12, 2017
Not all timeshares are scams and there are some clear signs when you might be walking into a fraudulent situation. That is why I have compiled this list of hints and tips for recognizing a timeshare scam as opposed to genuine timeshare companies.
What are the signs of a timeshare scam?
There are some key signs which indicate that something or someone is a scam. If you remain open to them it can become pretty obvious which is which very quickly. Read on to find out how you can tell when someone is trying to scam you, and how you can protect yourself from fraudulent timeshares. These are some of the warning signs that you should be on the lookout for:
When things don’t add up
Little “white” lies might not seem like a huge deal, but the truth is that honesty in small matters is a key indicator of a business’s (or a person’s) integrity. If, for example, you’re are promised an incentive for attending a timeshare presentation that never materializes (or you are asked to pay for it), or if you are told that the presentation will last only a few hours and it lasts the full day… these are signs that the company is not honest You must ask yourself; if the timeshare agent is comfortable lying to you about this, what else are is he or she going to lie about in order to sell you a timeshare?
Is the timeshare company registered?
It’s a sad fact that you can’t check every company’s license and registration details when you’re on vacation as this would make side stepping timeshare scams a breeze. However, there are some real world indicators that a timeshare company have their legal affairs in order. A good rule of thumb is this; if a timeshare agent can produce authentic ID, or they can be found inside an airport or shopping mall, then they most likely represent a genuine timeshare company and not a scam.
No news is bad news
If the timeshare company in question is suspiciously squeaky clean of all news coverage; if you can’t find an article about them or get any information online, it is most likely because they are fraudulent. Even the best companies will have complaints online (alongside positive reviews), but a timeshare company with seemingly no history is a no-go and most probably a scam.
Timeshare exchange networks
If a timeshare company is recognized by and affiliated with exchange networks like RCI and Interval International then you can be sure that they’re legitimate. If in doubt check on their affiliations and partnerships; as the saying goes “no man is an island” and this is doubly true for timeshare providers wishing to succeed.
Are you taken to the right timeshare resort?
If you are shown a different resort to the one you’re supposed to be buying from, or you’re shown the right resort and then taken offsite for the presentation/ contract signing do not sign. Do Not Sign. This is a classic move for scammers looking to steal some reflected respectability from big companies. You should also check that your contract names the correct type of unit and reflects any verbal promises, etc.
Do you have a bad feeling?
Listen to your gut; if intuition tells you that something is not right, or someone is being dishonest, this is often the earliest sign of a scam. Listen to your gut and look out for more warning signs of a scam, and most importantly never go through with something that makes you uncomfortable.
What are your methods for identifying a scam? Leave a comment.
Recommended article: Timeshare with The Villa Group
Timeshare Scams – Reading Between the Lines
March 29, 2017
It has been for decades now that the timeshare industry has been thriving, providing people with affordable options for vacation homes that come without all the worries associated with their upkeep and maintenance. However, despite the large numbers of legitimate timeshare companies, even after all these years, scams continue to affect the image of genuine timeshare companies. The best way to protect yourself from the most common timeshare scams to affect the market today is to be forewarned.
Here are the most common timeshare scams, and the ways to easily spot them.
- Bait and Switch
Overwhelmed visitors touring a majestic resort destination sometimes unknowingly fall into this timeshare trap. You think you are purchasing at one resort but your contract has you tied to a different, less attractive timeshare resort. Always check that your timeshare contract indicates the resort where you think you are purchasing your timeshare.
- Signing contract outside the resort’s facilities
Related to the aforementioned timeshare scam, when you sign your timeshare contract at a sales room that is not actually located at the resort where you think you are purchasing your timeshare, you should beware. In the best case scenario you are probably being sold a timeshare at a different resort than you think you are; at worst, you are being sold a non-existent timeshare. This kind of timeshare scam is much less common these days as the local police in most countries are usually involved to stop this fraudulent behavior and protect tourists.
- Not contract, but you have paid upfront
When an agent demands for payment even before you get your contract, chances are, it’s a scam perpetuated by those wanting to get cold cash quickly. Remember, don’t give money in the absence of a valid contract.
- Being asked to pay for your timeshare “gifts”
Attending presentations can be fun, especially if you are interested in purchasing a timeshare, but as a way of appreciation, legitimate timeshare companies usually provide you with small gifts in return for your time. Timeshare gifts should never cost you money (unless your gift is a discount); they should always be free. Beware of a timeshare scam if you are being asked to pay for your gift because you are not interested in buying a timeshare.
We recomend: Common Timeshare Scams
- Timeshare scams for resales on the internet
Extra care should be taken when doing resales online. Timeshare scammers have gone high tech and know their way around modern tactics on the internet. Both buyers and sellers of resales are at risk of this type of timeshare scam.
- Cancellation even after the cooling off period
Timeshare contracts can’t be cancelled after the cooling off period has passed. Think twice when a timeshare company tells you that theirs is cancellable anytime. It’s probably a fly by night, timeshare scam. Likewise, you can be a victim of a timeshare scam organized by dubious cancellation companies. Remember, if it is after the cooling off period, you can’t cancel, not matter how much money you pay the cancellation company.
- Upfront fees for timeshare resales or rentals
When the time comes and you want to rent or sell your timeshare, get the services of a timeshare company that asks for commission not upfront fees. If you are asked for upfront fees; you are likely to be involved in a timeshare scam.
- Phone calls from timeshare companies
Don’t entertain phone calls from unknown sources who claim they want to purchase or sell your timeshare on your behalf. These are usually scammers. If you want to sell your timeshare, you should approach a reputable timeshare resale company.
- Claims for a free upgrade
A common timeshare scam is to claim that you are getting a free upgrade on your timeshare when in fact you are signing a contract for a new timeshare with a competitor. Always check carefully that you are being contacted by your timeshare company.
- Fake OPCs (Outside Point of Contact – Timeshare agents)
Sales personnel must show their IDs to potential buyers, and they must take you to where their official ID claims they are working. If you are taken by these OPCs to a different timeshare resort, you are likely to be walking into a timeshare scam.
Have you been involved in other timeshare scams? Add your experiences to the comments box.
Here you can read more about Timeshare Scams Explained
All you need to know about Villa Group Timeshare Scams
October 31, 2016
As much as the Villa Group timeshare division aims to provide genuine timeshare memberships and residence club services to its thousands of members, there are instances where in customers might get lured into scams from third parties and fraudsters. Reading this article will help you avoid such situations.
What kind of Villa Group timeshare transactions are scams?
If you are in doubt about whether your purchase of a Villa Group timeshare is scam, consider the source of your purchase. If you purchased directly from a Villa Group timeshare agent at a Villa del Palmar resort, the chances of falling victim to timeshare scams are pretty non-existent. Likewise, if you are planning to buy a Villa Group timeshare, make sure that you only do business with a reliable representative, like those found in the resort offices of distinguished Villa Group resorts. These resorts include Villa del Palmar resorts in Riviera Nayarit, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, or the Islands of Loreto. If this is the case, then worrying about a scam is not necessary. Villa Group timeshare scams will only generally affect you if the transaction involves a resale property.
How genuine are timeshare purchases from leading timeshare providers?
As mentioned above, scams are very unlikely if your transaction happened while located at the timeshare resort with an official representative. Nevertheless, even with a direct purchase, and you might still think that what you are into is a scam. If this is the case, to set your mind at rest, you should verify your sale with the timeshare provider (in this example, Villa Group timeshare). Remember that Villa Group timeshare resorts, like most reputable vacation club providers, operate according to the policies and guidelines of ARDA (American Resort Development Association). ARDA is a trade association which represents timeshare businesses in different manifestations.
What to do with Villa Group timeshare Scams?
If you are reading this article because you want to get help with a Villa Group timeshare scam, then most likely it is because you had a transaction with a fake timeshare resale or a resale that had certain limitations on its usage. For example, maybe you purchased a timeshare membership that had outstanding maintenance fee debts that you have to pay before you can use the resort, or maybe there is only 2 years left on the membership that you purchasing thinking you were buying 10 years. These are the kinds of common timeshare scams that might affect any timeshare resale.
These kind of scams advertise themselves through Facebook, newsprints, Ebay or the usual classified internet sites and advertisements. The best approach to minimize your losses is to seek legal assistance. A District Attorney might help with the procedures and actions to lessen the negative effects that you might experience. Although this does not guarantee the full return of the money you spent.
As you can see, Villa Group timeshare scams do not exist per se. Rather, as a rule, you can avoid Villa Group timeshare scams if you avoid resales.