The timeshare industry nowadays is a well-known sector as a haven of scammers and defrauders. The fraudulent activities may operate in various ways but the most likely victims are those those current owners who are eager to get out of their timeshares by reselling their units. Last year, it turns out that the scam that generated the most complaints to the state attorney general’s office affected very specific audience which are the timeshare owners. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office disclosed that the top scam reported to the agency for 2009 involved bogus timeshare resellers.
According to Amie Breton, a spokeswoman for Coakley’s office, the agency received 169 complaints about the scam last year. She added that the attorney general’s office first noticed a surge in the timeshare scam complaints about 18 months ago and didn’t know of any geographic preference for the scammers, except that the complaints involved Massachusetts properties.
Usually, a timeshare reseller makes an unsolicited offer to a timeshare owner by getting the name from the local Registry of Deeds. The fraudster then asserts that he has a buyer lined up for the timeshare with a price that’s usually well above the market value. These scammers promise a quick sale and all the timeshare owner needs to do is hand over the money to cover the closing costs and other fees associated with the transaction. After this, the scammers may magically disappear as there is no actual buyer and no transaction takes place.
Along with the increasing number of owners who want to get rid of their timeshares are also the scammers who promise to get a deal for such properties. That’s why some owners simply hire a timeshare transfer company such as the Transfer Smart to get rid of it. However, if you own a timeshare, a sign of a timeshare scam is that a reseller might contact you when your timeshare isn’t even on the market and it requires advance fees for listing fee or appraisal fee.