Unfortunately, while the timeshare industry continues to enjoy a steady business, its popularity has also opened up the doors for scammers worldwide. Timeshare scams succeed in conning potential or current owners and extract a considerable amount of their hard-earned money. An example of this case is that of pensioners Brian and Winifred Tillotson, who decided to get out of their timeshare but fall into the wrong hands of a fraudulent company.
Like any other holidaymakers, Brian and Winifred Tillotson invested in a timeshare plan. Back in 1992, they paid £2,000 for the exclusive right to use a brand new one-bed studio at the Sunny Coast complex in Malta for seven days each March or week 11. But recently, their timeshare has gone unused. So, when the couple received a cold call from a person claiming that they could sell the week for £5,500, they leapt at the chance.
Within a period of 18 months the Tillotsons were contacted by salesmen working for World Networking Sales or WNS, Secure Leisure and Montemar Estates which are all based on the Costa del Sol, Spain who all claimed they could make the pair thousands of pounds. The trusting pensioners parted with almost £3,000 in fees in order to market their week but the week never did sell and today the Tillotsons are still stuck with the week's timeshare that continues to cost around £200 a year to maintain. According to Sandy Grey, the founder of Timeshare Consumers Association or TCA, this is a perfect example of a resale scam that has already netted crooks £500m.
Recently, there is a growing case of timeshare resale scams. On the other hand, to avoid such frauds, some owners hire a reputable timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart. However, this also serves as a call for timeshare owners to be cautious when dealing with resellers if ever they decide to get rid of their timeshare units.