6 Tricky Ways Timeshare Resale Companies Are Out to Scam You
Timeshare Resellers Look to Scam Owners
You don’t have to look far across the Internet to see complaints about timeshare resale companies and the ways they work to scam you out of your hard-earned money. But we're here to help our owners recognize these scams and avoid them all-together.
Understanding the Threat of Timeshare Resale Scammers
These unauthorized third parties often use sophisticated methods to obtain personal information, misleading owners into believing they are speaking with official representatives of our company. They might offer to sell, expand, modify or otherwise manage your timeshare interests, often with a false promise of increased profits or benefits.
What You Should Do if a Timeshare Resale Scammer Contacts You
To combat this and ensure the security of your investment, we strongly advise you to take the following precautions:
1 | Verify Communications | If you receive unsolicited calls, emails, or other forms of communication regarding your timeshare, be vigilant. Do not disclose personal information or make any commitments or payments. Never share your owner username and password credentials over the phone. Contact us directly to verify the legitimacy of the communication.
2 | Direct Contact | Always initiate contact with Westgate through the official channels listed in your membership documents. If you are ever unsure, call us directly! Call 800-351-0461 to speak to a Westgate timeshare specialist.
3 | Stay Informed | Familiarize yourself with common signs of fraudulent activities. We regularly update resources on WestgateOwners.com, helping you identify attempts at timeshare scams. An additional resource to take advantage of is from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). Its website provides useful information about how to avoid possible scams, as well as a helpful checklist of all the documents and information you'll need if you would like to exit your timeshare.
4 | Prompt Reporting | If you suspect you have been targeted by fraudulent activity, call us immediately. Prompt reporting can significantly assist in preventing further instances of fraud within Westgate's owner community. Call 800-351-0461 to speak to a Westgate timeshare specialist to understand your exit options and/or report timeshare scams you may have encountered.
What to Look for in a Timeshare Resale Scam
Timeshare resale company scammers contact you without advance notice, and typically they will employ every tactic they can to make you trust them. Keep reading to learn some common manipulation tactics timeshare resale companies will use to trick you into handing over your timeshare and hard-earned money.
1 | Timeshare scammers pretend to be legitimate companies | Timeshare resale scammers pretend to be representatives of a licensed real estate company. Whether this company supposedly wants to buy a timeshare for its own use or is simply the name of a broker that’s no longer active, they’ll pretend to be someone other than who they are. If they’re legitimate, they would otherwise be fine if you do your research and they checked out. Unfortunately, this isn't the case 99.9% of the time.
2 | The scam caller tells you they have a buyer ready | Nothing could set a real estate owner’s mind more at ease than the promise of an easy sale. Scammers will claim that they have someone ready, who needs to act in the short term, to take over the property. This creates a sense of urgency that simply isn’t ever going to be the case when it comes time to actually "list" the property, which is when the scammer will typically hit the would-be seller up for an expensive, up-front listing fee that does little to actually sell the property down the line.
3 | The resale scammer requests an upfront fee | No timeshare real estate company needs to request an upfront fee. Asking for an upfront fee isn’t even legal in Colorado! Scammers claim an upfront fee is for taxes or other payments to start the process of selling your timeshare. There have even been documented cases in which the timeshare resale scammer represents a required fee as an official government fee that the seller could be "in trouble for" if they do not commit to. All of these 'fees', of course, are purely a scam to con you out of your money. Always be skeptical of a company asking for an upfront fee, especially if it’s a wire transfer.
4 | Scammers promise a dream selling price | There’s no better way to get someone to agree to a timeshare resale than by claiming that they can deliver an unbelievably good price. Always be skeptical of someone promising something better than what you think, especially if you don’t have it in writing. Just like in other forms of real estate ownership, market values and demand tend to set the standard for what the asking price should be when it comes to selling a timeshare property. Even the best, most professional selling agents in the industry agree that this is case, no matter what, so anything that claims to be otherwise is simply misrepresentation.
5 | They claim that a government wants to purchase your timeshare | Some scammers resort to claiming that an official entity like the Mexican government is reaching out to timeshare owners to buy their property after a perceived bad deal. It’s simply not true. Governments do not establish supply chains for property acquisitions with individuals, and typically operate in a completely different manner. Bottom line, this is just an official-sounding spin on an old con-job tactic.
6 | The resale scam agent insists that you have to “act now” | Just remember that what you hold is a valuable timeshare. Any real buyer would be willing to wait for something worthwhile, especially if there’s a commitment. Undue pressure to act immediately in order to make your timeshare unit available for resale is typically just that, undue pressure. Don't get taken for a ride and always make decisions while you're off the phone and have had time to research and think about the options you've been presented with.
Key Actions to Take to Avoid Timeshare Scams
In summary, remember:
Never disclose personal information or make any commitments or payments if you receive unsolicited communication regarding your timeshare.
Never share your owner username and password credentials.
Familiarize yourself with common fraudulent practices, so you don't fall victim if you're targeted by scammers.
Contact Westgate Resorts directly at 800-351-0461 to verify any communication you might have received or to report dangerous scam activity.
Westgate's Commitment to Your Data Security
We want to assure you that we take your data security with the utmost seriousness. Westgate consistently implements advanced measures to safeguard your personal information. This unsettling pattern of timeshare resale scams suggests a form of social engineering, where scammers exploit information available to the public to seem convincing.
As a result, Westgate is actively investigating scamming incidents as they arise. We are dedicated to taking necessary legal actions to prevent these deceptive practices. Our owners' security and trust are paramount, and we are working tirelessly to ensure you can continue to enjoy your experiences with Westgate without concern.
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