Better Business Bureau serving
Eastern North Carolina warns consumers that timeshare scams are on the rise.
Unfortunately, such scams have
prevailed for decades. A consumer receives an e-mail or mailer offering a free
trip, and all he or she has to do is sit through a seminar. Once the victim is
at the seminar, the company turns on the high-pressure tactics in an attempt to
sell a timeshare. Often, the offer is legitimate, but other times, the offer is
a scam that is meant to trick honest people out of thousands of dollars.
BBB received more than 2,600
complaints nationally regarding timeshare resell companies last year. Some
consumers complained about available dates or other management issues, but many
alleged that companies collected money and then disappeared.
Scam artists have also started
targeting current timeshare owners. The FTC cracked down on telemarketers
claiming to have buyers lined up and then disappearing with the thousands of
dollars owners paid to cover fake closing costs.
buying or selling a timeshare, BBB offers the following tips:
Start with BBB. Visit bbb.org to check out the
Business Review of a company before doing business with them.
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
Never wire money. 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 wire money or pay cash.
Get it in writing. Ask the
salesman for all information in writing, including fees and ways the seller
plans to advertise the unit.
If it sounds too good to be true,
it probably is. Be wary of any seller who promises a big selling
price or quick turnaround. High pressure tactics are always a red flag.