Think timeshare scams are only a problem on this side of the pond? Think again!
As this great article from the BBC points out, vacation scams know no borders; in fact, according to the BBC, “the number of British tourists hit by booking scams rose by 19% last year,” as first reported by Action Fraud, the UK’s national center for fraud and cybercrime reporting.
According to the BBC and Action Fraud, reports of scams in the travel and vacation sector have been rising consistently for five years, coming to a head in 2016 with “5,826 reported cases, with holidaymakers losing £7.2 million in total, an average of £1,200 per person.”
What’s more, according to the BBC,
“more than a quarter of those affected said the scams had a significant impact on their health or finances… About 260 people said they needed medical treatment as a result, or were at risk of bankruptcy…”
The most common scams? According to the BBC, the leading culprits in reports “involved plane tickets, online accommodation bookings and timeshare sales.”
If nothing else, these numbers are a sobering reminder to all consumers to exercise caution when it comes to booking a trip, reserving a vacation rental, or attempting to rent out, resell, or even exchange their timeshare obligation. In such a “big ticket” consumer sector, there will always be people in the shadows, looking to make a quick buck at the consumer’s expense.
Always thoroughly research any company whose claims seem too good to be true, and never wire money, send cash directly to a bank account, or give out any of your personal information without doing your due diligence as a consumer; take particular caution if you find that a company reaches out to you with an offer out of the blue, as this is a common tactic of timeshare fraudsters.
As one consumer protection expert noted to the BBC, there is a trend toward “increasingly sophisticated travel-related frauds” happening today. Stay out of these traps! Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to reach out to consumer protection experts and authorities in your area for help, or to report any suspicious activity.
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.