Many timeshare frauds are resale scams. Con artists target owners who are desperate to get rid of their timeshares. Owners turn to these fraudulent “companies” for help only to find out later they’ve fallen victim to another scam.
It can be easy to miss the red flags when you’re trying to sell your timeshare and excited never to pay maintenance fees again. Scammers know owners can’t wait to unload their burden, and this is why they’ve been so successful with phony resale schemes. In this chapter, we’ll explore timeshare resale scams and signs to look out for. If this sounds like something you’ve experienced, and if you’d like help from people who genuinely care, reach out to us at EZ Exit Now.
It’s no secret — timeshares are difficult to sell. This has created an entire industry of scammers promising to sell your timeshare for a large fee.
Con artists know that owners are determined and desperate to get rid of their timeshares, and can easily take advantage of their need to sell.
If you own a timeshare and want a way out, beware of imposters and know the warning signs. Also, know there are legitimate ways to free yourself of your timeshare, and there’s no need to make a rushed decision without researching and understanding your options first. A timeshare resale scheme usually takes place in the following ways:
Sometimes these con artists will try to double-scam you and claim they will help you recover the “lost” fees for another fee. Some resale crooks will deceive the same owners, again and again, each time promising to help them. They may even use the identity of actual real estate brokers. This enables them to trick just about anyone.
Consider Darren Kittleson’s story, as reported by Azcentral. Mr. Kittleson, a seasoned real estate agent, was cheated out of more than $24,000 when scammers offered to buy his timeshare at a resort in Mexico. How did an experienced real estate agent fall victim to such a scam? They did everything possible to cover the fact that they were imposters, from sending realistic bank statements to providing the name and address of an actual real estate brokerage. They offered to pay up to 70% more than what Kittleson paid for his timeshare and eventually told him he needed to buy a tax identification number in Mexico to complete the sale. After researching the situation online, Kittleson decided it still seemed legitimate, so he wired money to Mexico. Then he was told he needed to pay taxes. So he wired more money. They continued to scam him until he realized he’d been tricked — thousands of dollars later.
Scammers will also often pose as ARDA representatives. Here are just a few fraud examples provided by ARDA:
How do you know if you’ve been contacted by a scammer?
Here are some red flags to look out for:
It’s most important to remember that resale scammers can steal the names of real businesses and even create professional-looking websites. You’ll always want to check a company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau and do your research before handing over any money or personal information.
Before you decide to sell your timeshare yourself, know that it’s risky, and not the recommended path to take.
Keep in mind that when you advertise your timeshare, you may be inviting scammers to contact you. Also, know you will not get what you paid for your timeshare.
If you decide to try to sell your timeshare despite the risks, you’ll first want to determine the value of your timeshare. You have a few options to sell your timeshare, which include:
It’s recommended that you reach out to a reputable timeshare exit company instead of trying to sell the timeshare yourself. A trustworthy timeshare exit company will work to find ways to cancel your timeshare, so you don’t have to worry about scammers or stress out about details.
You may be able to exit your timeshare obligation through the resort, depending on if they are willing to work with you or not. Contact the resort and find out your options, and if you can sell it back to them. If you take this route, be aware that the resort may try to sell you an “upgrade” or complicate the selling process. Also, if the resort takes back the timeshare, they may require that you continue to pay fees while they search for another buyer.
The best way to sell a timeshare is to avoid the timeshare resale market altogether and protect yourself from scammers. Your next best option is to turn to an experienced timeshare exit company to discuss canceling your timeshare. Contact us to learn how we may be able to help you get out of your timeshare.