Timeshare Scam Artists Bilking Owners Multiple Times
More and more people find themselves in a position where they need to get rid of a timeshare they own due to the cost of yearly maintenance fees. With many timeshare resorts refusing to take back timeshares even for free, these owners are desperate to sell their timeshare any way possible. This has resulted in a huge number of complaints to the Better Business Bureau for timeshare resale scams.
These scams are becoming even more sophisticated. Many of those who are scammed have become a victim multiple times. This is a common scenario of how these scam artists are taking advantage of those trying to find a way out of their timeshare:
First, a timeshare owner is contacted by a person that claims that they have a buyer ready and willing to purchase the timeshare. The catch is that in order to facilitate the transaction, the seller needs to pay an upfront fee. Once paid, the timeshare owner finds out that there is no buyer and that any money paid upfront is gone.
The scam artists will then contact the timeshare owner again, this time explaining that they know the previous shady timeshare reseller business and how unethical they are. They convince the owner that they are nothing like that and as a good will gesture, reduce the upfront fee that they usually require. This discounted payment also disappears into the scam artists' pockets.
To top it all off, the scam artists will call again, this time claiming to be a lawyer going after the scam artists. The lawyer knows how upset the timeshare owner is and guarantee they can get that money back from the scam artists. In order to get the money back, however, the owner needs to pay an upfront retainer fee to the lawyer. Again, any money paid disappears never to be seen.
These combined scams are taking as much as $7000 from the individual victims, and it's another important lesson why consumers should never pay an upfront fee when trying to sell their timeshare.
(Photo courtesy of ToastyKen)