A dozen times or more a day, every single day, TUG gets a phone call, an email, or a new forum post from an individual who wants to know if "xyz company" is legitimate, as they were somehow contacted by them and told a very enticing story about either selling, renting, or getting rid of their Timeshare!
While the frequency of these requests are so staggering, in almost EVERY circumstance...the entity in question is trying to rip you off. This article will describe in great detail, the easiest ways to spot these telltale signs and avoid doing business with said organizations.
While you may admit, that if you are advertising your timeshare for sale or for rent, people are going to contact you about it. However under very VERY few circumstances will you EVER see a legitimate company contact you out of the blue with an offer to sell or rent your timeshare FOR YOU.
No matter what the name of the company (because believe me, they will make up more names than we can keep track of)....if said company calls you and has a story that's too good to be true (this includes "we have a buyer for your timeshare", or "we can rent your timeshare for an amazing rate", along with a variety of other fantastic sounding pitches to get you on the hook)....your scam radar should already be going off.
Fact is, the resale market sucks for 95% of the timeshares out there...so anyone who contacts you and "guarantees" a sale, or a rental etc etc...and gives you an amazing price (see red flag 2)...is someone to avoid at all costs!
Seriously people, when in the history of mankind has anyone ever seen an ad, and then decided to pay you MORE than your asking price, especially for an item so difficult to sell in the first place. Many times the ploy to get you to fall for this is the mention that they are "buying timeshares for large corporations" etc. This is completely bogus of course and is just another way to get you "hooked" so that they can later more easily convince you to part with your hard earned money. (be sure to read the Timeshare scams and other fairy tales article) Again, combined with Red flag 1, and Red flag 2...you should already be ready to hang up the phone.
Easily the most telling indication of a scam, and it works every single time! After spinning a wild and incredible pitch that has you so excited to finally be rid of your timeshare...comes the real reason they contacted you in the first place.
To extract money from you! This money grab can come in a wildly creative number of forms. It can be pitched as a "title search", or "tax payment", or "closing costs"...or any of an unlimited number of legitimate sounding terms! Fact is, no matter what it is called, if a fee is asked of you upfront...you should steer clear.
Please note that many organizations are now wise to the "no upfront fee" rule, and will string you along for awahile to further set the hook, some will even state from the start that they will not charge an upfront fee, only to later sneak it into the deal! Often this will include some mention of using an "Escrow" company to hold the funds! Remember folks, these people are professional scammers that earn their living thinking up new ways to trick you out of your money.
I am not kidding here, if you want to protect yourself from the scams in this industry, you MUST NOT FALL for these very smooth talking pitches that may even "GUARANTEE" that your timeshare will be sold or rented.
These payment methods offer ZERO protection for you as a consumer, and are to be avoided at ALL COSTS for any sort of resale transaction (although you shouldn't be paying upfront fees either way).
That said, many of these slick talkers that do accept credit cards will string you along for 90 days until its past the point where you can dispute the charge on your card! So again, if you follow the rule of never paying upfront fees, this last red flag shouldn't matter, however if you have fallen for one of the above scams, DO NOT LET THEM DELAY YOU DISPUTING THE CHARGE ON YOUR CARD!.
Glad you asked! We actually have a How to sell your Timeshare article written for owners, by owners and it answers all the introductory questions you will have about getting your timeshare sold on the resale market as well as how to avoid being ripped off!
Also stop by the TUG Buying Selling and Renting Timeshares: Online Forum Discussions for help and advice from tens of thousands of other owners just like you!
We hope this will help you avoid being scammed, as if you are trying to sell or rent your Timeshare, you WILL be approached by individuals who are indeed looking to rip you off, I truly hope you find TUG first!
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