What is a Timeshare Scam?

Scams are fraudulent schemes that target all kinds of people, no matter your class, race, gender or income level. Everyone is susceptible to a scam because they can often be so well disguised. One type of timeshare scam is where a group will present themselves as an established, honest timeshare sales company. They will seem to be a credible company who will give you a luxurious holiday home for your money. In fact, it is usually the opposite, and you are left with a low-quality resort or even, in the worst cases, no property at all.

Why Do Timeshare Scams Succeed?

There are two main reasons why a scam succeeds. The first is the presentation of the scam. Scams often entrap people because they seem very real and to be meeting the needs or desires of the unlucky consumers. Websites can often be made to look like the ‘real deal’ and trick customers into feeling secure. Just because a company has a website that looks real or answers some of your basic questions doesn’t mean you should pass it off as a credible business – you must always do further research before making any payments.

If a company contacts you, the first thing you should do is try and figure out how credible they are. Make an effort to ask them direct questions and obtain reliable answers. Fact check this against what you know or what else you can find off other reputable companies online. If anything comes up that you don’t feel is right or just feels off, then this is enough reason for you to hang up the phone or cease contact with the business. If you don’t follow these tips and go into a conversation too open minded with your guard down, then the scammer will know you are easy to fool. They will make the promises they know you want and roll off false facts to make you believe they are honest before you mistakenly decide to put your trust into them.

The second reason why scammers always seem to succeed is that they can manipulate you into responding the way they want you to. Scientific research has shown that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and our society is wired so that our emotional and social response is almost automatic to certain situations. So, if someone is able to ‘talk the talk’ and make you feel at ease with their telephone manner and ability to reassure you and answer your questions it can make it much easier for the scammer to lure you into their trap. To avoid being manipulated, it’s good to know what scammers try to use to lure you in; the repetitive promises and too-good-to-be-true statements that they know will often elicit a specific response. As mentioned above, always do more research and never agree to sending a payment without giving yourself time to really look into a company.

Why Do Consumers Fall For?

Some people are more susceptible to scams than others. The types of people that can be the ‘perfect victim’ for a fraudster are often very trusting people who are trying to be friendly and open to the person on the other end of the phone. They believe the word of a scammer company because they want to believe that all timeshare companies are legitimate and honourable. They think that all these companies are approved by the government or some other authority which makes them credible, when in fact that’s not always true. Although all types of people can fall victim to the trap of a timeshare scammer, we all have to be vigilant about the possibility that not everyone is as honest and credible as we may like to believe. You are often your own best defence against these scam companies who haven’t yet been caught, as some scams only come to the attention of ‘watchdogs’ and government agencies when someone reports them for scamming.

Another myth that consumers believe is that all internet websites are legitimate. Many people aren’t internet savvy and think that websites are too complicated to make just to scam people. However, sites can be so easy and cheap to produce, and it’s not often hard to make them look eye-catching and credible. Any of the websites you have seen could be a scam website with false information to try and catch you in their schemes. Often, these websites are only live for a few days to try and cash in as much money before disappearing. Scams don’t always happen over the phone, and the thousands of pounds lost to sites like these are proof they are dangerous, and people should look into the business further than just their website.

Be Aware that Timeshare Scammers Will Use Reciprocation to Lure You In

It’s known that scammers often use the lure of a ‘free gift’ or a promise to guarantee your cooperation. Even if you don’t agree to something they want straight away, you feel obliged to sign on with them later on.

Protect yourself from these tricks by recognising the types of gifts and favours that scammers tend to fall on to lure people in. Once you start to see repetition, or if you feel that everything is too good to be true, then it probably is and you may be dealing with someone who is trying to entice you into a scam.

Scammers will even make an outrageous proposal with is high priced, knowing you will turn it down. Then, when they tell you it’s ‘your lucky day’ and offer you a smaller offer, it appears more reasonable in comparison. With this second offer, you are more likely to fall into their trap and give them your money. Make sure you look out for these tactics when you next face a phone call.

Scammers Will Push You to Sign A Contract As Early As Possible

After your initial talk, scammers will try to get you to sign a contract as soon as possible. This gives you less time to think over what they have said, fact check or look into their fake company. It might just start with what you think is a small commitment, but later on, when you look back, you will realise that there were a lot of things in the contract you didn’t read properly.

Avoid instances like this by rebuffing scammers demands to sign early and look into the company thoroughly before signing anything. If you get a ‘gut feeling’ that something is wrong, then trust it. Your instincts are often more right than wrong concerning these situations and listening to it can help you avoid making the wrong choices that many have made before you.

Don’t Fall for ‘Last Chance’

The fear of missing out is a huge factor for many timeshare scammers success. People want what others have or before it’s too late never to have it again. So, when people are told that there is a limited time for an offer, or only a few ‘units’ available, they are more likely to rush into a decision. Many people have found themselves thousands of pounds out of pocket because they rushed into agreements in fear of missing out. If you are facing a situation like this, the best way to protect yourself is to separate your emotions from your decisions. Just because something is limited doesn’t mean you need to rush into an agreement.

Scammers are professionals in their field with many tactics up their sleeves to entice, trick and influence unsuspecting people to fall for their false promises. With this in mind, it’s no surprise many of us fall for them on a daily basis. Scammers are masters of manipulation, and it’s up to us to learn their tactics and how to protect ourselves before it is too late. Don’t let the influence triggers force you into signing any contracts without doing thorough research or speaking to someone you can trust for their advice.

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Friendly advice from timeshare experts

Once we receive your request one of our highly skilled advisers will contact you to find out more information about your situation. All of our advisers have detailed knowledge of the timeshare industry and will be able to advise you on what your options are.

We will assess your situation and provide advice on whether we believe your timeshare was unlawfully sold to you. We will also provide advice on whether there are potential grounds for compensation against the timeshare company.

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