You might be thinking that timeshares are a thing of the past but they’re not. In fact, they’re as popular today as they were in the 1980s and many people enjoy the opportunity of a guaranteed holiday in the sun every year.
What’s also not a thing of the past is timeshare scams. In fact, they are far more sophisticated than they were in the 1980s and it’s easier to be caught in a timeshare scam. There are now a number of organisations and groups set up to purposely deceive timeshare owners by persuading them they are able to get the out of their contract.
Often called brokers or agents, they sound very convincing and purport to have all the necessary skills to help you. However, apart from the fact they usually don’t have the required licenses, they won’t sell your timeshare or extricate you from your contract. But they will charge you an upfront fee, sometimes quite substantial, for their ‘services’.
Common timeshare scams
There are four common timeshare resale scams that you should be aware of:
- Unsolicited phone calls – These could come from unexpected companies that claim they have a legitimate buyer for your timeshare. The key warning signs are that they could ask for your personal information, they may persuade you that they need funds to the close the deal and will usually want an upfront payment. They’ll tell you the payment is to cover taxes, transfer of ownership fees, international transaction fees and any other reasons.
- False resale agents – These are common and will often tell you they are working on behalf of a legitimate company. However, whilst they have done their research and sound convincing, they aren’t who they say they are. Again, they will ask for upfront fees, sometimes called ‘luxury taxes’, which is one of the main warning signs.
- Timeshare exit lawyers – Who are also known as timeshare contract cancellation lawyers, will promise they can get you out of your timeshare, or 100% money back guarantee, or even cancel any mortgage you took out on the timeshare. The reality is that they can’t, and they won’t; they may even tell you to stop paying any maintenance or mortgage fees. However, they are providing false information and never stop paying your timeshare costs until you have received confirmation from the timeshare resort that you are no longer responsible for the timeshare.
- Viking Ship timeshares – These are shell companies that have been set up purely to transfer timeshare ownership. They will advertise false statistics and claim they can make an offer you can’t refuse on your timeshare, and all you have to do is sign your timeshare over to them to be free. Don’t transfer the deeds, don’t pay them any upfront fees, and don’t stop paying your maintenance fees.
How to get out of a timeshare scam
First and foremost, if you do discover you have been scammed by a company or person claiming to specialise in selling timeshare contracts, immediately stop the contact and don’t pay any more fees. Secondly, call Sarah Waddington Solicitors.
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, we specialise in resolving problems with timeshares and particularly timeshare scams. Our team is highly experienced and knowledgeable in timeshare regulation and litigation. Timeshare contracts are often long and convoluted, with plenty of legal terms that are difficult to understand. But at Sarah Waddington Solicitors, we have the experience in managing timeshare contracts as well as being able to extricate you from a contract you no longer want.
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