Timeshares. They can be a great thing; unlike vacation homes, you only pay for what you use. You can dedicate the same time every year to going on vacation and you might even get the opportunity to trade timeshares so you can visit different places.
But there?s also the negative side of timeshares: timeshare fraud. Resale scammers steal thousands of dollars from people trying to get rid of a timeshare. This has happened so much that U.S. State Attorney General offices have moved timeshare resale scammers as a priority on their investigative lists. But it can be difficult to catch a timeshare scam before the scammer changes their company name to something different.
Getting rid of a timeshare can be tricky, and a lot of owners fall victim to a scam. It can be easy to fall for a scammer who contacts you about timeshare resales. The company seems legit, and says they have a buyer so most people jump at the chance to sell their timeshare.
How timeshare fraud works:
- You own a timeshare and now want to sell it.
- A company contacts you saying they have a buyer, but you need to pay various ?fees? before you can sell.
- You pay the ?fees? but in the end, there?s no real buyer and you?re out a lot of money.
Warning signs of a timeshare scam and how to avoid them
If you get a phone call, DO NOT give out any personal information! This also goes for filling out forms on websites. Giving an email or phone number can result in numerous annoying spam phone calls or emails. You can also search the phone number or address listed on a website to check it’s legitimacy.
How to get out of a timeshare
If you?re among the 85% of timeshare owners who regret their purchase, it may be time to start thinking about reselling or getting out of your timeshare. High maintenance fees and financial hardships are some of the reasons people choose to get out of their timeshares. Your timeshare contract should have information on how and when you can get out of your contract. DO NOT trust random companies who contact you wanting money to resell your timeshare. Getting out of a timeshare contract may require a timeshare attorney.