Firstly, it is important to define what a timeshare scam actually is. The term timeshare scam is sometimes used erroneously to describe timeshare in general, which is simply not true. When timeshare suits you and your vacation needs as well as your income, then timeshare can be a great idea. In reality, the true timeshare scams are those that are out to take your money, no matter what, and are usually found when dealing with timeshare resale companies, timeshare cancellation, and rogue timeshare sellers.
Timeshare scams and maintenance fees
One of the reasons that some people call timeshare a scam are the maintenance fees. People who feel they have been involved in a timeshare scam sometimes claim that they were never told about the maintenance fees. While it is quite plausible (albeit bad practice) that your seller downplayed the maintenance dues for your timeshare, details about maintenance fees for your timeshare will be included on any contract you sign when purchasing a timeshare. Maintenance fees are necessary; and anyone who owns a condo will know that without them, your property falls into decline pretty rapidly without maintenance.
False promises by timeshare sellers
If you attend a timeshare presentation at a reputable timeshare resort, the risk of being lied to is much lower, and if you have any doubts that the claims made by your sales agent, you should complain while you are still at the resort to help the company identify members of its team who many not be following the company rules. It is natural for your agent to be a great salesman or woman, dazzling you with the benefits of your potential membership. With any luck, you are attending a timeshare at a resort that is worth the timeshare investment. However, the bottom line remains that you have to decide if you can afford it. There is no point crying “timeshare scam” because you don’t have the money to cover your payments; rather, keep your head during the presentation and buy within your means (you can always upgrade later). Don’t be a victim of high pressure sales tactics, be clear about what you can afford.
The real timeshare scams
The real timeshare scams to beware are no longer attending presentations at the big resorts. Nowadays, there are so many regulations involved with timeshare that scams are few and far between when opting for reputable companies. Nevertheless, there are still some timeshare scams to beware such as:
Timeshare resale scams - you buy a secondhand timeshare and find there is only one year left on the membership or that the membership is non-existent. Sometimes you have to pay a huge amount to cover any outstanding maintenance fees before you can use the timeshare.
Timeshare Cancellation Scams - Companies charge you to cancel your timeshare when in fact you have no legal grounds for cancellation. You later find that you have defaulted on your loans.
Rogue Timeshare sellers - Beware any timeshare seller who wants to complete the deal outside of the resort where you had your presentation.