Timeshare owners who have been victims of resale and exit scams are now being targeted by unscrupulous so-called timeshare recovery groups, which claim to offer assistance in recovering lost funds but only seek to defraud them further. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), these fraudulent operations have been on the rise, taking advantage of vulnerable individuals who have already suffered significant financial losses. Let’s look closer at timeshare recovery scams hit victims.
How Timeshare Recovery Scams Operate
Criminals are increasingly exploiting social media and the dark web to identify vulnerable targets for their telemarketing scams. They carefully monitor platforms such as Twitter or Facebook in search of anyone who has previously been taken advantage of by fraudulent schemes, targeting these individuals with malicious intent. What’s more, they often acquire “sucker lists” – a database available on the dark web that includes names and contact details of those who have already fallen prey to scammers’ traps.
Additionally, the same criminals who started the original scam may also attempt to fool victims again by pretending to be timeshare recovery professionals. To make their deceitful websites appear trustworthy and legitimate, con artists publish made-up customer testimonials, reviews, and ratings. Additionally, these timeshare scammers create bogus press releases claiming that they have recovered money for victims in order to bait more unsuspecting people into their trap.
These so-called timeshare recovery groups also attempt to impersonate government agencies or well-known organizations, using official-sounding names to gain the trust of their victims. They approach unsuspecting timeshare owners with false promises of recovering the money they’ve lost in previous timeshare scams, in exchange for upfront fees. The fees can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and once paid, the scammers vanish, leaving the victims with even more significant losses.
How to Protect Yourself from Timeshare Recovery Scams
To shield timeshare owners from being scammed by illegitimate timeshare recovery organizations, consumer defense advocates strongly advise staying alert and following these essential steps:
- Research the organization thoroughly: If approached by a timeshare recovery company claiming to help recover lost funds, be sure to research their credentials and read customer reviews on the BBB or Google. Verify their contact information, check for a physical address, and ensure that they are registered and licensed with the appropriate government agencies.
- Be cautious of unsolicited offers: Fraudulent recovery groups often target victims by sending unsolicited emails or making cold calls. Be wary of any unexpected contact, especially if the company claims to have information about your previous losses or insists on an immediate decision.
- Don’t pay upfront fees: Beware of organizations demanding upfront fees, as this is a common tactic used by scammers.
- Verify the source of information: If you’re unsure of the legitimacy of the call, hang up and contact the agency directly to verify their claims.
- Report any suspicious activity: If you believe you have been targeted by a fraudulent timeshare recovery group, report the incident to the BBB Scam Tracker, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or your state’s attorney general office. This will help authorities track and apprehend the criminals involved.
Timeshare Scam Alerts: Expert Advice
J. Andrew Meyer, an expert on timeshare law, warns that scammers have become increasingly determined and cunning when it comes to stealing hard-earned money from unsuspecting individuals in a large-scale financial game. “They are out there just dialing for dollars”, said attorney Meyer.
This isn’t an accidental occurrence, if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a steady stream of promotional messages about your timeshare, there’s a good chance that someone has added your contact information to their list without your knowledge.
At first, it may be subtle—a few phone calls here and there, some text notifications and emails sent with no ring—but in time those irritating disruptions will intensify until the barrage is unavoidable! Timeshare owners should be on guard if this happens.
You can protect yourself from potential scams and financial losses by being vigilant when engaged by timeshare recovery groups. Scrutinize these organizations thoroughly before putting down any payments or upfront fees to avoid getting tricked. Dealing with these types of entities can be a fast way to losing money, so remain alert at all times! If you have been taken advantage of by a timeshare recovery scheme, it is imperative that you report it quickly. Time is critical here as these groups are often fleeting and move on before the authorities can catch them.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized assistance with any questions you may have regarding your timeshare, please consult an attorney.
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 that specializes in timeshare law. We provide free consultations to timeshare owners who have fallen victim to fraudulent timeshare recovery companies and can offer advice on how best to proceed. Contact us today for a free consultation. You can also read more about our services at FinnLawGroup.com