Are you worried about falling victim to timeshare scams?
If not, you possibly should be. Timeshares are known to employ dirty tricks to get you involved in their schemes.
And many of them aren't timeshares at all. Some of them do not even give you what they promise. But how can you tell those apart from more legitimate companies?
Luckily, there are some tips you can keep in mind to avoid timeshare scams. Here are six of them.
Beware of Incentives
This is not to say that anyone who offers you something in return for sitting through a timeshare meeting is a scam.
But if they're offering you something ridiculously over-the-top, you have every right to be wary.
Take this offer of a " free boat " that was offered in England. That sounds really exciting, doesn't it? But there was a catch. The boat wasn't "free," as there was a delivery fee.
And, as it turns out, the "boat" was really just a toy, that actually wound up being less expensive than the fee the victims had paid!
If someone is offering you something like a free boat or car, you should definitely be wary. A lot of the time, this is how timeshare scams operate.
Read contracts carefully and make sure that you have what they're promising in writing. If they refuse to put it in writing, that's a very bad sign!
Take Your Time
You should be allowed and encouraged to take your time on something like this.
You wouldn't buy a house "on the spot." Timeshare should be no different. You shouldn't feel like if you don't buy right away, then the opportunity will pass you by.
For this reason, you should be very wary of any timeshare representative that tries to pressure you into buying immediately.
Timeshare scams take advantage of people. And an easy way for them to do that is to not give you enough time to think about the situation so that you can't see through the holes in their plan.
If you are made to feel like you shouldn't wait and think on this, that is a major sign that something is very wrong.
It is very easy to get swept up in the idea that you need to act right away. But that is a trick.
Have a Clear Head
Would you buy a house while tipsy or drunk?
Of course not! Buying a house is a huge decision and not one to be made lightly. You need a clear head if you're going to make a decision like that.
Timeshare scams know that, and that's why they try and ply you with alcohol before trying to convince you to buy.
It's a simple fact of life: alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes it harder for you to say no. You cannot make an unbiased, clear decision when you're under the influence.
This is why some scams target people that are already on vacation. They know that the "party" mindset will make it easier for them to convince you to do what they want.
You should only ever say "yes" to a timeshare if you are 100% in your right mind. Don't let yourself fall for anything or anyone who tries to convince you otherwise.
It's Not a Financial Investment
A lot of timeshare scams like to make it out like a timeshare is an investment that will be making you money.
But that is not the way to look at it. Even the president of the ARDA admits that you shouldn't be looking at timeshares this way.
Timeshares are a "better way to vacation." In other words, you should only be thinking of what sort of vacation you could be having with a timeshare property — nothing more and nothing less.
If you're hoping to get something more out of a timeshare, then that probably isn't the purchase for you.
And if a timeshare presentation is really playing up the "investment" angle of a timeshare, you should be incredibly wary. More often than not, this is a sign of a scam.
There are wonderful things about timeshares. But the "investment" is not one of them. Don't believe otherwise.
Timeshare Scams Are Aggressive
Here's one of the quickest ways to spot a timeshare scam as opposed to a somewhat more honest business.
Timeshare scammers are aggressive with their sales. They won't let you leave without a firm yes.
This relates to the point above about not being able to take your time, of course. But it goes beyond that. These scammers are trying to unnerve you. They're trying to get you off your balance.
In other words, they're trying to surprise and confuse you.
By doing this, they make you vulnerable. If you're confused by their tactics, then you'll be less defensive, and they'll be able to get a yes out of you easier.
This is one of the more reprehensible ways scams get a yes. Basically, they bully you into doing what you want.
They do not have the power over you. If you're feeling bullied, then stand up and walk out of the room.
Talk With Other Owners
If you're really looking to spot a scam, this is the best way to do it.
Talk to other people who have gotten a timeshare with the people you are considering. Ask them what they liked about it. Ask what they didn't.
It's important to find people who were both satisfied and unsatisfied. That way, you get an unbiased look at what the company really is, not what it's pretending to be.
It will be much easier to figure out if it's a scam if you aren't hearing it from the business themselves. Take your time and research so that you don't get caught up in something you never wanted in the first place.
And if you do find yourself as a victim of a timeshare scam, take action. Our attorney is here to help make sure that you are able to take control of the situation.