In a decisive move aimed at safeguarding the interests of the vulnerable senior population of Alaska, the state’s Attorney General, Treg Taylor, has initiated a stringent legal proceeding against a network of deceitful timeshare exit enterprises and their operators. This legal crusade implicates seven well-orchestrated timeshare exit companies along with eight individuals who are allegedly at the epicenter of this nefarious operation, which meticulously swindled elder Alaskans, leaving them stripped of significant financial resources. Let’s look closer at the AG files against timeshare exit groups.
At the heart of this lawsuit is a series of allegations painting a grim picture of deceit and exploitation. It is asserted that these defendants orchestrated a meticulously crafted scam where they pledged to assist unsuspecting consumers in disentangling themselves from their timeshare agreements, a service that would ostensibly relieve them of the financial and contractual burdens associated with such commitments. In return for this promised assistance, these companies demanded exorbitant upfront fees, creating a precarious financial situation for these senior citizens.
AG Taylor’s Warning on Timeshare Frauds
The Alaska AG’s office had been dealing with numerous complaints from consumers about timeshare fraud, prompting Taylor to issue a press release proactively warning citizens of his state that:
“before paying a company to sell a timeshare, consumers should check to see if they are dealing with a licensed real estate agent or broker. Consumers should also be wary of advertisements offering free meals or gift cards, and of companies that demand large sums of money as upfront payment.”
Breaking Down The Timeshare Exit Scam
The defendants are accused of targeting timeshare owners using a deceptive direct mail campaign. This lured the timeshare owners to sales presentations at Anchorage hotels with deceptive promises of a $250 shopping card and information on how to eliminate timeshare maintenance fees, improve their ownership experience, or legally exit their timeshare.
The victims of the defendants were primarily seniors according to the complaint. When they arrived for the presentation, they were told that their maintenance fees would skyrocket, that their heirs would be forced to pay the maintenance fees in perpetuity and that the only way to exit their timeshare contracts was to pay for the defendants’ timeshare exit services.
An NBC 2 Video illustrates the problem with timeshare exit companies.
The timeshare exit companies charged consumers an upfront fee of several thousand dollars. However, the cancellation services promised were not delivered and the defendants failed to provide refunds.
As a result, owners were left out of pocket and still stuck in their timeshare contracts.
Steering Clear of Timeshare Scam Tactics
“Our office will work hard to bring scammers to justice,” said Attorney General Taylor. “But we also want to remind Alaska consumers to remain vigilant. Consumers should always be wary of companies that use scare tactics to create a sense of urgency. A company that refuses to give you a few days to think over a big financial commitment probably isn’t the kind of company you want to do business with.”
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has also advised timeshare owners about these sorts of exit pitches, often known as “timeshare road shows.” Unless you consider one of these presentations as a work of fraud and fabrication, it isn’t much of a show.
Thousands of timeshare owners across the country have lost money to timeshare exit scams. Some consumers have even lost their life savings. If you’re thinking about attending a timeshare exit presentation, the BBB recommends that you do your research first.
The Alaska Attorney General’s complaint names Consumer Law Protection, LLC, Consumer Rights Council, Premier Reservations Group, LLC, Resort Transfer Group, LLC, Square One Development Group, Inc., Square One Group, LLC, Timeshare Help Source, Christopher Carroll, George Reed, Louann Reed, Scott Jackson, Eduardo Balderas, Sherrod Banks, Courtney Kirkpatrick, and Gary Adamson as defendants.
Earlier this month the Missouri Attorney General also filed a lawsuit against the same St. Louis based timeshare exit companies for violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. The BBB applauded Attorney General Eric Schmitt for protecting seniors as their business “targets older adults across the U.S.” Now the State of Wisconsin and the FTC have followed suit against the same defendants. Read Here
What To Do If You Were A Victim Of The Timeshare Exit Scam
If you have been the victim of a timeshare exit scam, you may be entitled to restitution, cancellation of your timeshare contract, and other relief.
You should contact the FTC or your own State Attorneys General to file a complaint. Depending on your circumstances you may also want to contact an experienced timeshare lawyer to discuss your legal options. Time is not on your side when it comes to timeshare exit scams.
Scammers often disappear with your money, making it hard to get your money back. You may also have legal deadlines for taking action. So, if you believe you’ve been defrauded, don’t wait to act.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Consult with an attorney for specific legal advice regarding your timeshare contract or situation.
Led by timeshare attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years of combined experience. The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare related consumer matters. Go to our website blog to learn more about timeshare exit scams or to schedule a free consultation with our law firm. Follow us on Twitter.