From time to time we feel it necessary to remind our valued members of some of the potential scams that befall even the savviest of vacation members. It has come to our attention recently that there seems to be a resurgence of resale and rental scams whereby members are being contacted by scammers either by telephone or email. Read on to find out more.
Timeshare scams and Vacation Club Fraud
Most people assume that vacation club and timeshare fraud is restricted to fake timeshare sellers and dubious resale markets when the real dangers can arise even after you have purchased a genuine membership. There has been a spate of resurgent timeshare scams lately whereby even the happiest vacation club members have been targeted by “timeshare advocates” claiming to offer fraudulent services that include resale scams, cancellation scams and timeshare rental scams. If you are ever asked to pay a fee upfront to sell your timeshare, this is most likely a scam.
Fake Timeshare Consulting Advocates
Last month, the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) released a scam alert warning timeshare members to beware companies claiming to work on its behalf. In its advisory notice, ARDA warned vacation club members to beware as: “Several timeshare owners are being contacted by a group of individuals using the company name of “Resort Consulting Advocates” claiming to have an interested buyer for the victim’s timeshare interest. They have created false contract of sale documents that include a “100% guarantee,” as well as claiming to being affiliated with ARDA in order to get owners to pay an upfront fee.”
Fraudulent Real Estate Brokers
Recently, the New Mexico Real Estate Commission has received a surge of inquiries from consumers that have been contacted by a company that calls itself R-5 Realty. This company is pretending to sell other people’s timeshares, but they are not licensed to do so. To read the full update on this scam written by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, please click here.
Don’t be fooled by the name
Scam companies change their company names frequently to avoid being brought to justice. You are advised to be very wary of any company that calls or emails you offering resale, rental or cancellation services. You can be pretty sure these companies are scams. You should be particularly wary if the company claims to be working on behalf of ARDA, Universal Vacation Club, Club Caribe, or any of our associates as we do not endorse such services.
What can you do if you have been scammed?
If you feel that you have been part of a scam, please share details of the scam with us by contacting Member Services at 1-800-852-4755 or email@example.com. You should also contact your local authorities and the state attorney general to file a report, and may choose to make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
Final word of advice
Thoroughly research any company before paying any upfront fees for rental services or resale assistance. Most commonly, companies asking for upfront fees are scams. If in doubt, call Member Services: 1-800-852-4755 so we can offer guidance and assistance.