Timeshare scams and related fraud are becoming more and more creative. They often trap timeshare owners because they are so convoluted and complex—it is hard for owners to believe that scammers would go to so much trouble to lie convincingly. However, when there are dollars at stake, scammers will take great measures to create a “foolproof” image. Because timeshare refunds and recovery scams often have a high price tag, they provide fertile ground for scammers--if scammers can trap even a tiny percentage of owners in their schemes, the payoff is worth the effort. Timeshare owners can protect themselves from scams by learning about sucker lists, scam targeting, and advance fees.
This might come as a shock to you, but scammers are more likely to target people who have already fallen for a scam. Believe it or not, there are what are called “sucker lists” that contain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of people who have already handed over cash to scammers or “too good to be true” promotions. For example, if you have ever paid money to be included in a raffle for a million dollars or to win a car, you may well be on that list! These lists are sold to crooks who target you for all kinds of scams, including timeshare refunds and recovery scams.
How are you targeted for scams ?
Many of us do not even realize that we have been part of a scam. You might have entered a bogus competition, paid money to a fake charity, invested money into a business opportunity, and so on. What keeps most of these scams off your radar is that you likely gave just small amounts of money, so it doesn’t ring alarm bells when you never hear from the company again. When it comes to timeshare refunds and recovery scams, you might be targeted by chance, or your details may have been taken from websites that you have looked at when searching for ways to cancel or sell your timeshare. With this information, the scammers know that you are interested in this topic; all they have to do is find the right angle for their fraud.
Advance fees for timeshare refunds and recovery scams
Once the scammers know that you have been scammed in some way in the past, they may call you promising to recover the money you lost, or to help you get the merchandise that never arrived. They might even pose as attorneys who are suing the people who scammed you before. The trick is that they charge an upfront fee. Charging a fee in advance is against the law for telemarketing in the USA--you cannot legally be asked for payment for a service or product until you have received the product.
Protect yourself from timeshare refunds and recovery scams
When it comes to timeshare refunds and recovery scams, the way to protect yourself is simple: avoid cancellation companies and attorneys. Any company offering cancellation service is likely to be a scam, even if they say that their services are free. This is particularly true if you have purchased a timeshare with a legitimate leading timeshare brand because scammers want to target leading brands. If you avoid companies that claim they can secure timeshare refunds and recovery, and you will avoid a scam—plain and simple! If you feel you have grounds for cancellation or a timeshare refund, the company you should talk with is your timeshare provider. They are the only ones who can make these decisions after your rescission period has passed.
What is your experience of timeshare refunds and recovery scams? Leave your comments below.