The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) was alerted to a new fraudulent marketing practice where timeshare owners are targeted regarding their maintenance fees billing.
ARDA urges all timeshare owners to use caution if they are contacted by a company claiming to work on behalf of their homeowners association in the collection of overdue maintenance fees. Typically the letter from the fraudulent company will state that the money owed is due to billing errors or an unexpected special assessment at the owners resort.
ARDA advises anyone who should receive such a letter to contact their timeshare resort immediately in order to be certain the bill and the company claiming to be working on behalf of the resort in the collection is legitimate.
A situation recently occurred when a Virginia Beach timeshare owner received a letter that appeared to be from his resort. The resort’s logo had been illegally obtained from its website, and the company who sent the letter had no affiliation with the resort. The letter stated that due to an error in the maintenance fee billings, the owner had a $900 delinquency.
Unfortunately, the owner paid the fee to the fraudulent company before he reported it to resort management. The resort staff responded immediately and took steps to alert all other owners at the resort and then contacted other resorts in the area advising them to warn their owners as well. The incident was reported to local law enforcement for further investigation.
ARDA and Advantage Vacation urges consumers to proceed with caution when dealing with requests from companies claiming billing discrepancies or other unusual billing claims.
If you are contacted by anyone claiming you owe money to your HOA due to a billing error or because of a special assessment, you are advised to contact your homeowners association, the resort management office or the resort’s billing department before sending any money to anyone. Before sending any money, contact your resort to determine if it is a legitimate fee to be paid and if it has been authorized by the resort.
Resort management would be strongly advised to communicate directly with their owners prior to any action taken, to inform owners that there will be a collection agency hired to collect delinquent maintenance fees. The notification should include the name of the company and any additional information regarding who is authorized to communicate with the owners regarding any maintenance fee or other financial issues.
Advantage Vacation urges all timeshare owners to be cautious when they are contacted by anyone claiming to represent their home resort and are requesting a payment for delinquent fees, special assessments or any other fees. Always contact your resort FIRST, before sending any money to anyone for any reason!
Advantage Vacation is a member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and offers the best buys on the timeshare re sales market today. We never charge an upfront fee for clients who want to sell a timeshare and only receive a commission, paid from escrow, when the transaction is closed.
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