The BBB was active in 2021 using social media to warn consumers about some of the top tricks used to scam older adults. Those warnings were published in the BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. Travel. Vacation and Timeshare scams were again listed as the riskiest for ages 65+ in 2020.
Over the last two years, older seniors have been repeatedly subjected to solicitation offers from timeshare companies in the secondary market. Many of these timeshare exit groups use robocalls, emails and texts to bombard seniors with offers that come in all forms and sizes.
The unreliable 100% Money Back Guarantee is commonly used to scam owners.
The former Timeshare Termination Team used such a guarantee to lure unsuspecting consumers into doing business with the exit company. Only around 12% of TTT’s clients actually ever got released from their timeshare before the company closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy.
The BBB has fielded so many complaints about timeshare relief companies, that some regions won’t provide it’s seal of trust to these groups of businesses. Citing concerns with the lack of transparency, the Central Florida BBB adopted a policy to withhold accreditation from timeshare exit companies unless they disclose their methods to the BBB— CEO Holly Salmons told Checkbook.org that it was “Something few, if any, have done.”
Timeshare relief tactics vary by resale, trade-in and transfer to third parties
Consumers who own timeshares, report that third party contact and tactics of timeshare resale, trade-in and transfer companies have widely shifted with call spoof technology and text messaging. “These companies are using state of the art counter technology to stay one step ahead of phone service providers. Even with call block technology and new federal laws recently put in place, you still have a huge amount of calls, texts and emails getting through to timeshare owners and targeting seniors.” said attorney Mike Finn.
Protecting consumers starts with education
Experts agree that consumer education, along with effective enforcement efforts can deter domestic scammers, but international resale groups can sometimes only be detected by greed. One common point that many regulators and attorneys seem to share is that an unsolicited contact by a company with claims of sale or exit should always be a red flag.
Anytime you are presented with a timeshare contract for purchase, sale, resale, transfer or cancellation you should always consult with an attorney who can provide contract review and guidance. The top scams are handled by attorneys at the Finn Law Group, founded by Michael D. Finn with over 50 years of experience. A free consultation is available with Mr. Finn by calling 727-214-0700 to schedule an in office or phone appointment.