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What’s the Most Common Timeshare Scam?

online search for timeshareWhy Do People Think Timeshares Are Scams?

When you search the word “timeshare” on Google or any other search engine, you’re likely to see suggestions like “scam” pop up. Why is that? Why does the idea of owning a timeshare often get linked to being a scam? Finally, we look at what’s the most common timeshare scam?

A lot of this bad reputation comes from decades of scams that have specifically target timeshare owners. From some of the early days in timeshare.

There are people who are now looking to get out of their timeshare for various reasons. Maybe they don’t use it anymore, or maybe the rising yearly fees are becoming too much to handle. So what’s the most common trick scammers use on timeshare owners?

Usually, they’ll claim to help you sell, get rid of, or even donate your timeshare. They’ll ask for a fee upfront, promising to handle everything for you. But once they get your money, they disappear, and you’re left in the same spot as before—still owning a timeshare you don’t want and out of some cash.

Our expert, Michael Finn, talks more about these important issues in a video below. He gives advice on what to look out for so you don’t fall into one of these scams.

And here’s a full transcript of what he had to say:

“Our office is regularly contacted by people that have been contacted by third party brokers, who claim they have a buyer for their timeshare interest. They want to know whether or not they should go ahead and work with that broker.

Most of the time, it turns out to be a scam, because these timeshare interests have very little resale value. We can conclude without knowing a lot of the facts, that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Obvious signs that it is a scam, is the sales price is very, very high. Maybe even higher than the original buyer paid for it. Another possibility is that the broker is not in the same state that the unit is in, because typically real estate brokers need to be licensed in the state that they’re brokering property in. Another thing that they do is they refuse to identify who the buyer is. If any of those things are being suggested in the transaction, or are evident in the transaction, I’d say it’s ‘caveat emptor’ folks, which means ‘let the buyer beware.’”

Eager to avoid this costly hassle? For more thoughts on how to spot and navigate this pernicious, and all-too-common, scam, we encourage you to read more at the links below:

We also regularly bring our readers’ attention to reports of timeshare scams in our News Room section, available here. 

Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.


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