As a leader in the timeshare resale secondary market, Advantage Vacation is a licensed timeshare resale brokerage and has been in the timeshare industry for over 30 years. We are an Accredited Member of the BBB with an A+ Rating and are committed to helping educate people on the changes in the timeshare industry and keeping consumers up to date on current timeshare issues and news.
The following article information comes from a Better Business Bureau recent press release.
The Better Business Bureau received more than 2,600 complaints nationally about timeshare resell companies last year, and almost 200 more in January 2012. Some of the complaints are about available dates or other management issues, but many of the complaints allege that companies collected money for fees or other charges and then disappeared.
One consumer complained to the BBB after wiring more than $10,000 to a Dallas company promising to sell him a timeshare in Mexico. After getting the call, he researched the company online and did not find any red flags. When the company asked him for a payment to cover the closing costs, he did not hesitate. He wired the money, leaving no trace for law enforcement to follow later. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the story. The company contacted him again and asked for more money to cover the annual property taxes. Although that sounded a little suspicious and should have raised a red flag, he figured they wouldn’t let him buy a unit without paying the taxes and he already had invested a sizable amount of money. Soon after, the company he was dealing with became impossible to contact.
Now that people are more aware of scams like the one that consumer fell for, the scammers have started targeting victims that might not be as diligent – current timeshare owners.
The FTC has cracked down on telemarketers claiming to have buyers lined up and then disappear with the thousands of dollars owners paid to cover fake closing costs or as a deposit that they said would be refunded later.
The FBI has reported a similar scam, with a con artist contacting the victim by phone or email and promising to sell the victim’s timeshare in a short period of time, often between 60 and 90 days. The scammers asked for hundreds to thousands of dollars to cover anything from closing costs to listing fees.
Sometimes, according to the FBI’s warning, the victims are then contacted a second time — this time by someone claiming to be from a recovery company. The scammer, who may be connected with the original resale company, tells the victim that he can recover the lost money for a fee. But once again, the scammers disappear after the victim pays.
When buying or selling a timeshare,the BBB offers the following tips:
Beware of upfront fees. Though there may be closing costs or other fees associated with purchasing a timeshare, be wary of any company that pressures you to pay any such fees upfront or before reviewing any contracts.
Read the fine print. Especially when selling a timeshare, make sure to read the contract carefully. Find out if the company is actually selling your timeshare or simply charging you to advertise the listing.
Start with trust. Visit www.bbb.org to check out the BBB Business Review for a company before paying any money.
Never wire cash. Credit cards offer a certain amount of fraud protection that you cannot get if you use a wire service. Walk away from any deal that requires you to pay cash or wire money, especially to locations in other countries.
Get it in writing. Ask the salesman for all information in writing, including all fees, timing and ways the seller plans to advertise the unit.
Check the license. Ask for licensing information for the seller’s agents, and check that information with the Real Estate Commission. Only deal with licensed brokers and ask for references.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Be wary of any seller who promises a big selling price or quick turnaround. High-pressure tactics are always a red flag.
Know where to turn. Before selling your timeshare, read the FTC’s advice on selling a timeshare and report any scams to the BBB or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Advantage Vacation echoes the above tips offered by the BBB and offers several additional tips and reminders: when buying or selling a timeshare, use a licensed timeshare resale broker, contact the BBB before doing business with any company and never, ever pay any upfront fees! And one more thing to remember, if you did not initiate the contact, call or email, beware and be aware that you might be a timeshare scam target.
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.
We are leaders in the timeshare resale secondary market, have been in the timeshare industry for over 30 years and are Accredited Members of the BBB with an A+ Rating.
We hope you will follow us and our blog, Timeshare Blogging by Advantage Vacation and make your voice heard – what questions do you have?
At Advantage Vacation you can be assured you are working with professionals who believe that honesty and integrity are the most important aspects of the business they are in – timeshare re sales. Our business has been built on relationships and we pride ourselves on providing excellent service to our clients.
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