How To Avoid Timeshare Scams & How They Work
Learning how timeshare scams work and how to identify a scam is the first step in understanding how to avoid being duped by a fraudulent sales representative, resale company or other individual seeking to exploit timeshare owners.
In this article we will explore the different ways you can identify a scammer and how to respond to them once you find out that they are in fact scamming you and avoid their manipulation.
The following are the different techniques used by scam artists in the timeshare industry. Each technique is easy to spot and avoid once you know how each scam technique works.
Determine Who You Are Talking To
Generally people who contact you out of the blue offering services are a red flag for being scammers already and probably should be avoided at all costs.
If you've been contacted by a timeshare rep or sales company the first step in figuring out whether the offer is a scam or legitimate is determining exactly who you are talking to.
Ask questions like, "Who are you?" and "What company do you represent?" and do your own research about the company they claim to represent. Don't let them fast talk or manipulate you into making any quick decisions. Don't feel bad or guilty about making them wait while you do your homework on the company.
Are They Using Emotional Manipulation Tactics?
A legitimate and professional timeshare company will not try to use emotional manipulation tactics on you to force a sale. If the sales rep or timeshare company is making you feel guilty, or playing mind games with you then you are probably talking to a scammer.
Never allow another person to leverage guilt or play emotional games with you to try to force you to do something that you don't really want to do. It is best to avoid scams using emotional manipulation at all costs.
If the person you are talking to uses high pressure tactics, or attempts to make you feel bad or guilty for any reason tell them you know what they are doing and to stop. If they do not stop, it's time to end the conversation with them and/or hang up and avoid them, they are scammers.
Do Your Own Research
The best way to find out if a company is legitimate or not is going online and doing your own research. There are many ways to find out if the company that wants to do business with you is known for scamming people.
One of the best ways is to find out the companies website URL and do a Google search on it. You can even put the URL in quotes to get exact results.
If the company is legitimate, usually they will have a functional website, but don't stop there! How long has their domain been operational? Are there good reviews about this company on the web, or negative reviews? Are they listed in the BBB?
Other things to look into to find out whether it's a legitimate company is whether they have a working phone number and address and whether their phone number and address comes up on Google when you do a search.
Never Pay Upfront Fees
Legitimate companies do not ask for upfront fees. Upfront fees however are the top way scam companies make their money and should be avoided.
Never allow anyone offering timeshare services to take upfront fees from you. They will likely take your money and run, never to be heard from again.
Cover Your Maintenance Fees By Renting Your Week Out
Did you know that you can rent your unused timeshare week out to cover your maintenance fee costs and generate revenue on your investment?
Need help understanding your timeshare better? Visit our FAQ Page on timeshares.