The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a fraud advisory on phone scams related to timeshare, travel, and other telemarketing schemes. The USDA is warning its employees and consumers to be aware of scammers who lie and tell them they will sell their timeshare if they pay them an upfront marketing fee. Deceptive schemes have become so rampant that multiple agencies are also issuing consumer protection warnings in an effort to bolster the public’s knowledge of potential threats.
In its advisory, the USDA reminded consumers of the FTC’s warning against timeshare scams and travel-related schemes. Promised “free” trips or dinners may seem appealing, yet they could prove to be more costly than initially perceived. Thus, when considering buying into a timeshare program it is paramount that individuals conduct thorough research beforehand as failing to do so can have far-reaching financial repercussions.
Moreover, to highlight the document, the USDA said in a social media post that: “Scammers promise free or low-cost vacations that can end up costing you a lot in hidden costs. And sometimes, after you pay, you find out there is no vacation. Find out more about Travel and Timeshare Scams.
The USDA’s fraud advisory is a necessary reminder for all consumers to be especially vigilant when dealing with timeshares, travel, and other similar activities. Individuals should attempt to do their research before agreeing to any program or services offered so they can safeguard themselves from becoming victims of fraudulent schemes.
Tips for Avoiding Timeshare and Travel Scams:
- Don’t respond to unsolicited offers or calls from people claiming to have buyers for your timeshare.
- Do your research before signing any contracts or agreements related to a timeshare purchase or sale.
- Be wary of companies that pressure you into making a decision quickly or offer unrealistic promises about the value of your timeshare.
- Ask for references and contact information from anyone you’re considering doing business with regarding a timeshare purchase or sale.
- Be sure to read all documents thoroughly before signing them, and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions involved in the transaction.
- If you think you’ve been the victim of a time-share resale scam, report it to the FTC online or by calling 877-382-4357.
By educating yourself on the potential dangers of timeshare and travel scams, you can make an informed decision about your next steps. Reading reviews online or consulting a trustworthy financial advisor may also help reduce the odds of being taken advantage of. Taking these precautions and remaining vigilant will give you peace of mind when making future decisions involving this type of purchase.
In addition, the USDA encourages consumers to report any suspicious activity or fraud schemes so that proper action can be taken against perpetrators. By reporting such cases, consumers can help protect themselves and others from becoming victims of financial abuse.
This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or a substitute for professional financial advice. Please consult with an attorney or other qualified professional before making any decisions about your finances.
Led by attorneys J. Andrew Meyer and Michael D. Finn with over 75 years of combined legal experience. The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection that specializes in timeshare law. If you feel you have been a victim of a timeshare scam, call our office to schedule a free consultation to ensure your rights are protected as a timeshare owner. Call 855-FINN-LAW or Email us at [email protected]. You can also follow us on Twitter for more information from our timeshare blog.