Fake Timeshare Resale Deals
In recent years, the timeshare owners have seen a surge in deceptive resale offers, making it a hotbed for potential scams. This unsettling trend has cast a shadow over the entire secondary market, causing distress and skepticism among many vacation property owners.
As they are bombarded with unsolicited offers and too-good-to-be-true deals, the trust in legitimate resale opportunities diminishes. Although the tactics employed by scammers may evolve over time, certain core elements of these fraudulent schemes remain consistent. It’s these recurring patterns that can serve as red flags for owners, helping them distinguish genuine offers from deceitful traps.
A recent Q & A article penned by board-certified real estate lawyer, Gary Singer, sheds light on a suspicious timeshare offer that has raised eyebrows. Here’s a breakdown of the key takeaways and quotes from Singer’s insightful piece in the Sun-Sentinel and how you can avoid fake timeshare resale deals.
Despite the looming threat of scams, many timeshare owners find themselves cornered with limited alternatives and feel compelled to attempt reselling their timeshare interests. This often stems from mounting frustrations, as they grapple with the challenges of ownership costs, changing personal circumstances, or unmet expectations from the timeshare. The lack of viable exit strategies exacerbates their desperation, making them more susceptible to the siren call of dubious resale offers.
The Resale Situation at Hand
A timeshare owner received an unexpected, time-sensitive letter from an unfamiliar company. This company claimed to have found a buyer for their timeshare and requested a “refundable fee” of $2,000 via a payment app before dispatching the closing paperwork.
“We are trying to sell our timeshare with little luck and just received a time-sensitive letter from a company we had never heard of telling us they found a buyer for our unit willing to pay a fair price.”
Red Flags to Watch Out For
Singer points out several warning signs that suggest the offer might be a scam.
“While I do not know all of the details of this proposal from what you have told me, it has many of the indications of fraud.”
In legitimate real estate transactions, sellers only pay a commission upon a successful closing. There’s no need for upfront payments to resellers.
“People selling property who agree to pay a commission only upon a successful closing do not need to pay that commission upfront.”
Moreover, Singer advises caution when dealing with unsolicited offers, especially those that exert pressure for swift action or demand specific payment methods such as a cash payment app.
“You should be suspicious of people who ask you to give them money with the promise they will turn around and send you back more. Legitimate business rarely works that way.”
Guidance from the Federal Trade Commission
The FTC offers a clear warning against unexpected offers that push for specific payment methods, such as cryptocurrency, wire transfers, or gift cards.
“According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should be careful with unexpected offers that pressure you to act quickly and insist that you pay a specific way, such as by crypto, wire, MoneyGram, Western Union, using a payment app, or by sending a gift card.”
Defending Against Potential Scams
Singer emphasizes the importance of critical thinking, seeking advice from trusted sources, and refraining from divulging personal or financial details.
“The best way to protect yourself from scams is to stop and think about what is happening before acting.”
Lastly, Singer leaves readers with a timeless piece of advice:
“Finally, when something seems too good to be true, it most often is.”
Approaching a timeshare resale with the same diligence as a traditional property sale often yields better results. Many have discovered the benefits of partnering with a licensed real estate broker, leveraging their expertise in the timeshare domain.
Selling a timeshare undoubtedly presents its challenges, both in time and stress. However, with the right professional support and guidance, the journey to a successful sale may become more streamlined and attainable.
This article is for information purposes and is not intended as legal advice. Always seek proper advice when it comes to individual timeshare real estate matters. Inspired by insights from Real Estate Attorney Gary Singer, originally published on Sun-Sentinel.
Led by timeshare attorneys J. Andrew Meyer and Michael D. Finn with over 75 years of combined legal experience. The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in Timeshare Law. Contact us for a free consultation if you feel you need the services of a timeshare attorney. Call 855-FINN-LAW or email us: [email protected] | We are also on Twitter too.