Red Flags You Are Speaking to a Scammer
If you have received a call from someone asking you to pay anything with a credit card or bank account over the phone and stating they are us or affiliated with us, they are not. Do not pay them! If you have already paid them do whatever you can to get the money back fast. Call your bank or credit card company to cancel or dispute the charge. It is a scam! You will not get any contracts in the mail and your property is not sold by us. Unfortunately, you have been scammed. To file complaints and fight for recourse see “How you can help put the scammers behind bars”.
RED FLAGS THAT YOU MAY BE SPEAKING TO A SCAMMER
1. They solicit you. This is the first red flag. Scammers buy lists of timeshare owners or reply to ads For Sale by Owners post online or in newspapers. They call, send postcard type mailers, or e-mail you. Many legitimate companies also use these marketing strategies so it’s not always a scammer but this is your first red flag that you may be communicating with a scammer. Look them up online, do some research before you open communication with them.
2. They always ask for an upfront or advance fee. This is the blinking red warning light screaming “BEWARE!” If your timeshare is truly sold then any administrative, closing costs, advertising or commission fees can be taken out of your proceeds at closing. Our favorite is to tell them, “I’m happy to pay double your fee for selling my timeshare,” and let them reply, before stating “oh, but my rule is that you have to take it at closing.” They will either give you a poor excuse why they can’t or hang up on you!
3. If the price sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Timeshares typically lose value on the resale market so if someone is offering what sounds like a really great price, especially if its more than you paid for it, that’s an immediate red flag. Scammers prey on your desire to sell and bait you with sizeable offers so you are busy thinking of spending the money instead of realizing you should be researching the company.
4. A third party closing or title company is not being used. You always have the right to have a third party closing and escrow company close the sale. Get the name and location of the company being used and look them up on the BBB, or internet. You should get a phone number and call them if you are skeptical. Don’t ask the company to call you or they’ll just have a fellow scammer call and pretend they are someone with a legitimate closing company. Ask to speak to the manager, ask him name and see if it matches what you found on the closing companies website.
5. They make “guarantees”. No one reputable can give you a “guarantee” that can’t be put in writing. This word is a red flag. If you hear “guarantee”, ask for that “guarantee” in writing. If you get one, it will most likely be nonsensical circles of legal talk. You’ll know the only thing it “guarantees” is that there are no guarantees!