Timeshare scams are on the rise, not just because of the economy tanking, but because of the internet.
These scams have become a business that is literally booming.
A piece of a vacation resort or timeshare is owned by more than 3 million Americans.
Many are satisfied with their purchase, but many aren’t, and those are usually the ones that got caught up in a timeshare scam.
Developers have found an extremely profitable way to sell real estate and that is by dividing condos and other real estate into timeshares, especially if the real estate is in what is called a “hot vacation spot”.
A couple of friends of mine have had timeshares.
One of the timeshares is in St. Marrten and the other friend has one in Branson, MO.
Branson is like a mini Las Vegas as far as the entertainment goes.
Many of the stars have built their own entertainment theaters there and people flock there to hear their favorite entertainer.
The timeshare resale market is not strong, and studies have shown there are more timeshare owners that want to sell than there are buyers.
The definition of a timeshare is a group of people all buying one property and sharing how much time they each spend in it.
Every person, or couple, pay a ‘common area’ upkeep cost on the grounds and building and also pay a portion of the property value itself.
Most timeshare properties guarantee a week or two weeks annually.
Some timeshares give 3 weeks or a year.
The incentives for timeshares are very attractive and normally are given at a ‘presentation’.
Many of these timeshares are very ‘over priced’, because people are willing to pay the inflated prices.
Normal incentives given are free hotel rooms, or rooms at a huge discount, prizes, and some even offer a package of a weekend getaway.
Not all of these incentives are legitimate.
You Have to attend the presentation. The company is very clear about this.
The companies profit greatly selling timeshare units, so they know they can afford to be creative and generous with you with incentives to “bring you in”.
The real scams involving timeshares are notorious for not delivering on their promises.
One of the timeshare scams my friend looked at promised a luxury holiday package and a new car. Come On!
No one gives something for nothing in an instance like this.
Many of these presentations are given in mailings, on the internet, and seen on TV commercials.
My one friend that purchased the timeshare in Branson, MO ended up selling hers to a family member.
Paying the upkeep and payments was not conducive for her.
She found that she wasn’t always able to take advantage of her 2 weeks every year.
Some timeshare scams “go out of business” after you pay your deposit, and some scams have you paying an “administration fee” for a holiday.
One of the timeshares my friend looked into before she purchased the one she has, was told she could sell the timeshare she already owned – at a high price.
She was smart enough to know that if the timeshare Did Not sell, she would then own Two timeshares.
That was certainly not an attractive incentive for her and she knew this one was a scam.
You are not obligated to stay, so if you are uncomfortable with the way things are going, just get up and leave.
Don’t let the salespeople pressure or bully you to stay.
Don’t sign the contract if you find that items the sales person promised you are not listed in the contract.
Buying a timeshare shouldn’t be treated any differently than when you are buying yourself a house.
It is a real estate investment and should be treated as such. Also, check out mortgage scams for more types of real estate scams.
To keep yourself safe from timeshare scams, become knowledgeable, educate yourself, and do your research. Happy traveling!