Once in a while you will find that you are asking someone else or even yourself, “Have you ever heard of” followed by the name of an unscrupulous timeshare resale company. In the modern resale market, this is an all-too-common occurrence. If an unknown company has reached out to you with an offer that is way too good to be true, chances are, it is. Understanding how to tell if this is a timeshare scam is valuable information.
Scammers have been known to create false companies to get you to pay an upfront fee in order to sell your timeshare for you. These scams have been brought to light thanks to the Better Business Bureau and timeshare owners sharing information and experiences. As more owners become educated, scammers have evolved their practices.
Upfront fees are a bad word in the timeshare world and should always be avoided. These false companies have caught on and are changing tactics.
Here’s the Situation
Seemingly out of thin air, a company will contact you with an offer to buy your property. This offer is going to be much higher than what your property is worth on the resale market. Although now, they will promise no upfront fee. Sound good? Of course it does and they will continue to lead you on and then suddenly need a payment to be paid before closing. When they receive the money, they won’t be heard from again. This is similar to other scams but the promise of no upfront fees gives their offer a more legitimate feel to it.
However, the lies do not stop there. Many owners are savvy enough to investigate a company like this to find out if it is a real company or not. To make it seem real, the scammers will resurrect an old website to make it seem like they have been around for many years. However, you can check when it was last modified and if it matches the date on the Better Business Bureau file for that company.
Their address will also be a real address but probably picked at random. Chances are good that if you were to Google search the address and get the phone number of that building or floor of the building they claim to be in, no one will have any knowledge of the company that has contacted you.
Internet phone numbers are now being used to keep up the appearance of being from a certain location. Even though the local prefix matches the address given, it is possible they are calling from anywhere in the world. If they are using landlines but they are unlisted, that is a glaring sign of a scam because why would any company keep their number unlisted and prevent potential customers from finding them.
Learning how to check a timeshare resale broker’s license is an important consideration for any timeshare buyer or seller.
If you would like more information about timeshare scams and how to protect yourself, feel free to contact us.