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Top 5 Travel & Timeshare Scams

top 5 travel, vacation and timeshare scams

Investigators learn more about travel and timeshare scamsFTC Targets Top 5 Travel & Timeshare Scams Amidst Tourism Revival

The travel industry has fully recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many people are eager to make up for lost time by taking vacations and exploring new destinations. Scammers have taken note and are also capitalizing on this resurgence, prompting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action in areas like the top 5 travel & timeshare scams.

In response to over 62,000 consumer complaints regarding travel, vacations, and timeshare scams, the FTC is ramping up its efforts to protect consumers and raise awareness about these top 5 travel & timeshare scams.

The 2022 Surge in Travel-Related Scams: A Warning to Vacationers

In the year 2022, a staggering number of individuals fell prey to an escalating wave of travel-related scams, culminating in financial losses exceeding 100 million dollars. This alarming surge in fraudulent activities predominantly encompassed deceitful vacation rental listings, manipulative timeshare schemes, and aggressive sales strategies aimed at coercing individuals into making hasty travel purchases.

These scams are meticulously crafted to lure unsuspecting individuals who are in the process of searching for lucrative deals to make their vacations more affordable and enjoyable. Often, these individuals are ensnared while making reservations for their anticipated trips, finding themselves caught in the web of deceit spun by the scammers.

The scammers, adept at exploiting the vulnerabilities of potential travelers, employ a variety of tactics to achieve their nefarious goals. They create convincing fake advertisements for vacation rentals, offering them at tempting prices to attract victims. In addition, they engage in timeshare schemes where they deceitfully offer shared ownership of vacation properties, which often turn out to be non-existent or vastly different from what was advertised.

Furthermore, these fraudsters are known to employ high-pressure sales tactics, where they exert immense pressure on individuals to make immediate purchases, often offering limited-time deals that supposedly offer great value. These tactics are designed to prevent individuals from taking the time to thoroughly research and verify the legitimacy of the offers, thereby increasing the likelihood of them falling for the scam.

Clipboard of the worst travel and timeshare scams5 of the Worst Travel, Vacation, and Timeshare Scams

  1. Vacation Rental Scams

  2. “Free” Vacation Scams

  3. Hotel Reservation Scams

  4. Third-Party Booking Site Scams

  5. Timeshare Reselling Scams


Travel ,vacation and timeshare scams

Battling Travel Frauds: FTC’s Initiative

In a resolute endeavor to curb the rampant proliferation of travel and timeshare scams, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated a series of stringent actions aimed at identifying and bringing the perpetrators to justice. This governmental body has been at the forefront, orchestrating campaigns to apprehend those responsible for orchestrating these fraudulent schemes, which have seen a significant uptick in recent times.

In addition to their enforcement efforts, the FTC has been actively involved in spearheading educational initiatives to arm consumers with the knowledge and tools necessary to identify and avoid falling prey to these scams. These initiatives encompass a wide range of strategies, including the dissemination of informative materials and the organization of awareness programs that highlight the common tactics employed by scammers.

In a recent interview with ABC 2, Lisa Schiller, a representative from the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, echoed the sentiments of the FTC and emphasized the importance of consumer vigilance in this battle against fraud. She urged consumers to be on high alert for several red flags that are commonly associated with these scams. These warning signs include false promises that lure individuals with the prospect of unbeatable deals, a manufactured sense of urgency designed to pressure individuals into making hasty decisions, and prices that seem too good to be true, often indicating a potential scam.

travel safe from scams To safeguard yourself from travel and timeshare related scams, follow these essential consumer protection tips:

  1. Conduct thorough research: Before booking accommodations, flights, or vacation packages, research the company or website you’re considering. Check for reviews, ratings, and any reported complaints or scams. Be wary of deals that appear too good to be true.
  2. Verify the legitimacy of rental properties: If you’re booking a vacation rental, ensure the property is legitimate. Scammers have been known to create fake listings using stolen photos or non-existent addresses. Check the property on multiple platforms, and if possible, contact the owner or property manager directly.
  3. Be cautious of high-pressure sales tactics: Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to push consumers into making hasty decisions. If you’re being pressured to make a purchase, take a step back and give yourself time to think and investigate further.
  4. Exercise caution with timeshares: If you’re considering buying or selling a timeshare, beware of potential scams. Scammers may pose as legitimate buyers or sellers and demand upfront fees for services they never provide. Always research the company or individual involved and avoid paying upfront fees whenever possible.
  5. Use secure payment methods: When making any travel-related purchases, use a credit card or another secure payment method with fraud protection. Avoid direct transfers, wire services, or prepaid debit cards, as these methods may be more challenging to trace and recover funds from if you become a scam victim.
  6. Keep your personal information secure: Be cautious when sharing personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account details, with anyone you don’t know or trust. Scammers may use this information to steal your identity or access your accounts.
  7. Report scams to the FTC: If you suspect you’ve fallen victim to a travel, vacation, or timeshare scam, report it to the FTC at By doing so, you can help the agency identify scammers and prevent them from harming others.

By staying alert and following these tips, consumers can reduce their risk of falling prey to travel, vacation, and timeshare scams. The FTC and other consumer protection advocates remain dedicated to protecting consumers through education, ensuring that everyone can enjoy their travel experiences.

Disclaimer: This article is intended as information only and not as legal or financial advice. If you think you’ve been the victim of a travel, vacation, or timeshare scam, contact your local BBB or the FTC.


Finn Law Group fights elder timeshare fraudLed 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. A free consultation is available to anyone who feels they have been the victim of any form of timeshare scheme. Contact us at (855) FINN-LAW or email us at [email protected] | Learn more on our Twitter page.

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