What We're Watching - 'BBB Warns of Timeshare Scammers'

Summer travel season is here again, which means, as Georgia’s WTVM 9 recently put it, that it is also “timeshare season,” as both “buyers and sellers [look] for the right deal.”

As WTVM points out, many people enter the summer season “looking to unload their timeshares” or “reduce their expenses.” Often, these people eager to get out from under their timeshare obligations are targeted by scammers, who are looking only to make a quick buck on the backs of unsuspecting consumers.

However, as WTVM explains, “some companies may tell you they will sell your timeshare for you if you give them some money upfront, then leave you standing without your money and with your timeshare.”

For more, the news station recently brought on Calvin Collins, of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), for a consumer protection segment. Collins warns consumers to “be very careful with the companies” you trust to assist you with reselling or exchanging your timeshare interest.

As he puts it:

“In the 70s and 80s, everyone was trying to sell timeshares. Now everyone’s trying to resell them for you. So, consumers need to understand that when they receive these telephone calls, they’re not necessarily getting reputable companies that are calling...”

Indeed, for timeshare owners looking to sell, the cold call is a common sign that the would-be salesperson is making promises that may be too good to be true. Often, consumers are approached out of the blue, and told that there is already an eager buyer ready to pay top dollar for the owner’s timeshare. Once the consumer forks over upfront fees, this company then disappears, leaving the owner still saddled with their timeshare obligation – and a new debt to go with it.

As Collins tells WTVM:

“I can’t tell you the number of times that we have found a timeshare company calling consumers in our area… Then we get someone from the BBB in that area to go by and it’s an empty lot, so there’s not really anything there. So be very careful with the companies you’re using.”

As a representative for the BBB, he encourages consumers to “ask questions” and always “ask for something in writing,” including a sales contract. He also urges consumers to “be mindful of that upfront fee.”

For more on spotting timeshare resale scams – including more information on how to report suspicious activity or an unsolicited call – we encourage you to do more research with your local, state and federal consumer protection agencies, including the BBB, the FTC, and your state Attorney General’s office.

For even more information and insight, the full WTVM segment with Collins is available here.

For more resources from the Finn Law Group team, you may wish to peruse some of the content available in our Learning Center and News Room:

Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 45 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don't hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.

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Finn Law Group maintains this website exclusively for informational purposes. It is not legal or other professional advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Finn Law Group or its clients. Please carefully review our full disclaimer (link) before proceeding. Review our privacy policy (link) here.