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.