How to Protect Yourself
Personal information should only be given to a respected and verified timeshare closing or timeshare brokerage firm. Never respond directly to a buyer or renter - always use the link provided in the email to respond using BuyATimeshare.com's online system to protect your personal information. For further assistance or questions please contact Buyatimeshare.com at 1-800-882-0296, our affiliated Brokerage Firm at 877-536-0560 or our affiliated closing company TransferaTimeshareTitle.com at 1-877-536-0561.
General Timeshare Scams Involving Resales
If you have ever considered doing business with a timeshare resale company, there are a few things you should know before paying for their services. Although there is quite a bit of literature that says to never pay an "up-front" fee, they do not offer solutions to what you should do to sell a timeshare. Not all "up-front" fee services are bad, so long as the fee is reasonable and there is value for what you get.
Before you pay anything "up-front," review the following common statements made by timeshare resale scam companies:
- "We have a buyer or renter for your timeshare" - This is one of the most common timeshare scams in the industry and has been around for a long time. The State of Florida recently passed a law stating that if a company says this, they must also provide you with the name and contact information of the buyer/renter.
- The timeshare resale company "prices" your property - If someone today told you that your timeshare has doubled in value, would you pay their fee to get your timeshare sold? Many would, and that is why you should do your own research into the true value of your timeshare. Search websites such as BuyATimeshare.com, Craigslist or even eBay to see what others are asking for similar timeshares.
Advocacy Companies or Recovery Rooms
Have you been contacted by a consumer advocacy company about your timeshare? If you have, please be cautioned that these companies may not be operating legitimately!
The words "consumer advocacy" may conjure up thoughts of a lawful entity who acts on behalf of consumers who have fallen victim to a scam or fraud. While this is usually the case, there are many companies who are preying on consumers for their money.
Here's how these timeshare scams work - "Advocacy" companies acquire timeshare lists from multiple sources such as lead vendors, public records, someone working at a timeshare resort, resale companies, etc. The next step is to make phone calls, send emails, or post advertisements around the internet asking if the timeshare owner has ever paid any fees to a resale company. If so, users are invited to fill out a form or call to learn how the "advocacy" company can help recoup the fees paid to resell their timeshare. Some even claim to be working directly with the Office of the Attorney General.
Advocacy or Recovery companies will then charge a fee of up to half of the fees "recovered." Most charge for their services up front and have no guarantees that they can ever recoup the money. They will try to get a signed power of attorney and even fabricate written statements using your name in an effort to recoup your money. This can open you up for liability in a defamation case if these statements are untrue.
The Sun Sentinal has a good article on recovery rooms here.
Don't fall victim to an advocacy company. True consumer advocates do not need to charge for their services, such as the BBB or a state or local Office of Consumer Services.
Scams Involving Timeshare Purchases
If you have received an offer, be careful to never give out your personal information directly to a buyer or renter. Insist on using a 3rd party brokerage firm, such as CashOutATimeshare.com or a reputable Title Company such as TransferATimeshareTitle.com. All offers that come through BuyATimeshare.com include a hyperlink that allows the owner to respond to offers anonymously, without divulging your personal information to the buyer. This is our recommended approach to accepting, declining or submitting a counter-offer to a prospective buyer or renter.
We have seen scams involving the purchase of timeshares in which the buyer claims to be working with a reputable Brokerage or Title company and requires a seller to send money that is owed to the resort before the closing can go through. Once this money is sent, the buyer disappears and so does the money.
If anyone tells you that fees are due to the resort, you should confirm this either by calling your resort directly about the fees in question, or the Brokerage or Title company handling the transaction.
If you feel that a timeshare company has deceived you in any way, we want to know about it! Please give our customer service department a call at 800-640-6886 and we will be happy to address any concerns you may have.
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