After being cold called from so many different firms over the years.. countless times trying to sucker me in for numerous different reasons, I have decided to do the public a service and make my own blog. I will dissect all these companies 1 by 1 in the event to eventually let the world know who are scammers and who are legitimate companies actually here to help us…

Archive for the ‘YOURTIMESHARE’ Category

Timeshare Scams Are on the Rise – Protect Yourself from Fraud

As a timeshare owners who is trying to get rid of a property, it is important for you to be aware of what is fast becoming the most common consumer scam in the country – timeshare resale scams. Yourtimeshare has consistently ranked these frauds high on their annual list of scams to watch out for, and in recent years it has become an increasing problem, even surpassing credit card and insurance fraud as the number one consumer complaint of some states in the USA. So how can you protect yourself from these scams and successfully sell your timeshare at the same time? It is a delicate dance and takes some knowledge, but it can be done.

The first step to avoiding these scams is to educate yourself. Learn how these scams operate and what their biggest red flags are. Some tell-tale signs you may be walking into a timeshare resale scam include:

Unsolicited contact
High-pressure sales tactics
Vague details about the company or who they are
Upfront fees (Which are illegal)

If you find yourself in contact with a company that is making you feel uncomfortable, decline their services or ask that they give you a little time to do some research and get back to them. Any reputable company will happily allow you the time to feel comfortable with their business and will provide you with any information you need upfront.

Stick to your guns. The easiest way to avoid these scams is to refuse to pay upfront fees. Not all timeshare resale companies charge upfront, despite what these scams would have you think, so it is important to stand your ground and refuse to work with companies who pressure you into making a commitment to work with them. You can successfully sell your timeshare without falling victim to timeshare resale scams. You just have to stay firm, know what you are talking about, and refuse to fall into their games.

If you have been scammed or have been called by a company offering dubious things.

Please do not hesitate to contact us: yourtimeshare@hush.com

Timeshare Pitfalls Continue to Trap Consumers

Reports that new tactics are catching new victims!

AUSTIN, Texas – Mar. 7, 2012 – It is a common scenario. Someone receives a mailer or email offering a free trip or other fantastic prize and all he or she has to do is sit through a half-day seminar. Once the victim is there, the company turns on the high-pressure tactics in an attempt to sell a timeshare.

Often, the offer is legitimate, if unwanted. Other times, the offer is a scam meant to bilk honest people of thousands of dollars. Such scams have prevailed for decades, and most savvy consumers are wise to them.

So, the con artists have changed their game, prompting new warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and enforcement efforts from the Federal Trade Commission.

Better Business Bureau received more than 2,600 complaints nationally about timeshare resell companies last year, and almost 200 more in January 2012. Some complain about available dates or other management issues, but many allege that companies collected money for fees or other charges and then disappeared.

Corpus Christi resident Thurman Huddleston complained to BBB after wiring more than $10,000 to a Dallas company promising to sell him a timeshare in Mexico.

“The people were good,” he said. “I really beat myself up, because I should have known better. It just sounded like a viable thing.”

Huddleston said when he first got the call, he researched the company online and did not find any red flags. When the company asked him for a payment to cover the closing costs, he did not hesitate. He wired the money, leaving no trace for law enforcement to follow later.

Then they came back and asked for more money to cover the annual property taxes.

“So that sounded a little fishy, but I figured they probably won’t (let me buy a unit without paying taxes),” he said. “That should have been the last red flag, but once you’ve got that much money in it, it’s hard to walk away.”

Soon after, the company he was dealing with became impossible to contact. Huddleston suspects the timeshare never existed to begin with.

Now that people are more aware of scams like the one Huddleston fell for, scammers have started targeting victims that might not be as diligent: current timeshare owners.

The FTC cracked down on telemarketers claiming to have buyers lined up, then disappearing with the thousands of dollars owners paid to cover fake closing costs or as a deposit that would be later refunded.

The FBI reported a similar scam, with a con artist contacting the victim by phone or email and promising to sell the victim’s timeshare in a short time, often between 60 and 90 days. The scammers asked for hundreds to thousands of dollars to cover anything from closing costs to listing fees.

Sometimes, according to the FBI’s warning, the victims are then contacted a second time — this time by someone claiming to be from a recovery company. The scammer, who may be connected with the original resale company, tells the victim that he can recover the lost money for a fee.

Once again, the scammers disappear after the victim pays.

Huddleston said that though he lost thousands to the con artists who contacted him, and he feels like a dupe for falling for the scam, he is just happy to have learned his lesson.

“I didn’t get too angry over it. I hated to lose the money, but I learned a lot,” he said. “The next time somebody calls, I’ve graduated from that class.”

When buying or selling a timeshare, Yourtimeshare offers the following tips:

· Beware of upfront fees. Though there may be closing costs or other fees associated with purchasing a timeshare, be wary of any company that pressures you to pay any such fees upfront or before reviewing any contracts.

· Read the fine print. Especially when selling a timeshare, make sure to read the contract carefully. Find out if the company is actually selling your timeshare or simply charging you to advertise the listing.

· Start with trust. Visit http://www.yourtimeshare.net to check out the Business Review for a company before paying any money.

· Never wire cash. Credit cards offer a certain amount of fraud protection that you cannot get if you use a wire service. Walk away from any deal that requires you to pay cash or wire money, especially to locations in other countries.

· Get it in writing. Ask the salesman for all information in writing, including all fees, timing and ways the seller plans to advertise the unit.

· Check the license. Ask for licensing information for the seller’s agents, and check that information with the Real Estate Commission. Only deal with licensed brokers and ask for references.

· If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Be wary of any seller who promises a big selling price or quick turnaround. High-pressure tactics are always a red flag.

· Know where to turn. Before selling your timeshare, read the FTC’s advice on selling a timeshare and report any scams to yourtimeshare@hush.com

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit yourtimeshare.net

About Yourtimeshare:

Yourtimeshare’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. Yourtimeshare accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn Yourtimeshare Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. Yourtimeshare is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

For more info please don´t hesitate to contact us: yourtimeshare@hush.com

“We are sorry but the sale has fallen through?” Sound Familiar?

How many consumers have heard this in the past months / years, after dealing with a resale company and worse of all, after paying an upfront fee?

It all starts off so easy, this nice lady or man calls up with this incredible but yet very serious looking offer for a (guaranteed) timeshare resale.

They present the company credibility’s by explaining how successful they are in resale, their connections to large companies or resorts and their flashing website.

Even the question on where they obtained the consumers details is answered with a logical explanation, and anyway the consumer is actually keen to sell so this must be his lucky day, why question it?

Sometimes because of the need or urgency to sell, consumers do not hear the alarm bells ringing when the agent asks what the membership is, should they not know if they have a buyer lined up?

But the sales price sounds right, well a bit more than expected, but he ho, we’re not going to complain are we?

And then John, Clare, Terry, David, Louise or whatever name they give, is breaking the last bit of news about the sale.

We need a deposit. We need a security fee…WHY?

Well, it has happened in the past that people agreed to sell but once they received the money in their account the refused to send off the deeds.

So in order to make sure the sale is finalized correctly we need to take a refundable deposit.

Well, that sounds reasonable, no? Why should they trust you?

So the credit card comes out and the money is taken straight away..

After this call, most of the consumers have the funny feeling something didn’t go right there, but of course after paying the money and thinking you are finally going to sell the timeshare…let’s hope for the best.

The contract arrives by email. And a credit card receipt to be signed off.
Few people actually notice the clause in the contract that states:

“The company acts solely as an agent and therefore cannot be held liable in the event that a purchaser fails to complete. Should this be the case, The Company will continue to market the ownership for the duration of the contract terms of one year”

After the 4, 6 or 8 weeks the long expected phone call does not arrive and neither the cheque in the post. For those keen to know what is going on, the numerous phone calls start here, and the few times the calls are actually answered.

Then the news…the sale has fallen through!

Bang, that’s it..

And here you are with a marketing contract for a certain period of time, for which you paid a large sum of money and of which we know already no successful sale has ever come out…

Claiming back your money for the credit card payment is possible. But please note that neither the bank nor your credit card company is jumping up and down to refund you. They will question the contract, as after all you signed for a 1 year marketing agreement, no? Or the money has been taken by a third party company…and the bank denies a refund due to the different name on the receipt…

Please don’t let them fool you with their smooth talk, guaranteed sales and illegal upfront fee! And less when they even have the nerve to say the payment is protected…because the resale company will protest as much as they can to the bank to avoid the refund, believe me!

Is the above your story and you are still waiting for this sale to happen?

Don’t be ashamed to tell us. They should be ashamed by defrauding you in such a bad manner!

Please let us know and we will do all we can to help you!

“I wish I would have found the yourtimeshare blog earlier..”

How many times have we seen this comment on the yourtimeshare blog? And even more times in the emails we receive from consumers that contact us directly.

We from the yourtimeshare team are working against the clock. Each day we receive emails with names of companies we hadn’t heard from before. Some of these companies are so “openly” fraudulent that we can publish directly, others we need to verify first the facts and ask for more information.

It is therefore that it might happen you get called by a company and this company isn’t mentioned on our blog yet. But this is also why we really want to insist that each call for us is important. Your information is valuable to us and to other consumers!

With thousands of visitors a month to our blog and with just registering with facebook & twitter, we certainly feel we can reach a lot of consumers as soon as we have a new alert.

But there are so many others out there, that haven’t heard of us yet…and sometimes as mentioned above, they only find the blog when it is too late.

We need your help with this! How? Well when you visit your resort, when you speak to other owners, your resort staff, the owners committee….please mention us, and ask them to keep us in mind or even mention us in their publications to the owners.

The more people know about us the better! Let’s stop these fraudsters from taking advantage of consumers! Enough is enough!

“They told me Alberto García is a fraud …”

Another well-known phrase we receive in comments and emails. A lot of the dodgy companies are obviously getting very frustrated with the fact that consumers do their research and even mention in the calls they found the yourtimeshare blog.

Let’s get it clear here…these companies are never going to say anything positive about us, as we clearly have an impact on their dubious income. If in the past without the information they could call consumers and get the credit cards out of people’s wallet without hesitation, now it takes a lot more calls to get to that point…and even then there are so many consumers claiming refunds and banks claiming explanations!

So no, we didn’t expect anybody from the “other side” to speak highly about us. But for those who don’t really know us yet, and are in a doubt…let us just point out the following:

We have provided professional advice before going on the internet to thousands of consumers.

We don’t ask for money, all advice and guidance has been provided absolutely free of charge.

We don’t cold call!

We will continue informing consumers, and we will continue our battle against fraudulent companies!

And please remember whatever they say about us, we are on your side!

For any further info please email us: yourtimeshare@hush.com

The Spanish Government will approve the new Timeshare Directive!

Finally the long awaited news has arrived! The Spanish Government will approve the Timeshare Directive.

This is the most important and best news we have heard for ages!

Remember that the Timeshare Directive was approved already by other countries (under which the UK) in February 2011.

After months waiting for other European Countries to also approve the Directive, a deadline was given to these countries amongst which Spain. (Read more http://wp.me/p1kmoi-9Z )
The Timeshare Directive is going to mark a “before and after” for the Timeshare Industry in Spain and will definitely make live so much more difficult for those trying to defraud consumers with fake guaranteed resale offers and upfront fees!

One of the clauses in the Directive is very clear on resale: 14) The prohibition on advance payments to traders or any third party before the end of the withdrawal period should be clarified in order to improve consumer protection. For resale contracts, the prohibition of advance payment should apply until the actual sale takes place or the resale contract is terminated

If you want to ready more what the directive is about, please go to the following link:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:033:0010:01:en:HTML

We are very pleased that we can finally break this news to all timeshare consumers.

Timeshare Forums

I will also be reviewing some timeshare forums in the event to see which ones are here to help and those dedicated to false information.

Here are some of the sites I will review:

 

http://www.mindtimeshare.me /

http://www.mindtimesharetruth.com/

http://www.timesharesecrets.com/

http://www.timeshareforums.com /

http://www.timesharetalk.co.uk/

http://www.forum.holidaywatchdog.com /

http://www.timesharegateway.com/

http://www.timesharetrap.com/

http://www.redweek.com/

http://www.forums.timeshares-store.com

http://www.timeshareconsumersgroup.org/

 

 

Cold Call Companies February \ March 2012

It has been brought to our attention that DURING February \ March 2012 the following companies have been cold calling timeshare owners.

We will eventually endeavour to provide accurate information on all these compaines..

Active Marketing
ASL Claims
Assurant
Audit And Accounting Services
Blue Chip
Bonus weeks
Castle Marketing
Client Mediation Services
Club Class Concierge
Cotswold Timeshare Resale’s
Dreams2reality
Excalibur
Express Leisure Group
GC Resorts
Gift Company
Greenges
Greystones
Half Moon Holdings
Holiday Rentals Direct
I.T.R.A
JRG Equity Release
Kingston Brokers
LA Bartle
Lakeview Disposals
Macdonalds Brokers (unrelated to Macdonald Resorts)
Mediation Consultancy Group
Mediation Solutions
National Claims Group
Nimda 21 Claims
Norfolk Leisure Group
Now Solutions
Odyssey Group
Personal Travel Group
PH Legal
Platinum Properties
Privilege Week
Ramirez and Ramirez
Real Escape
Reclaim Consultancy SL
Rest Assured Property Services Ltd
Royal Sleep Direct
Simple Property Marketing Solutions
Southern Resale Solutions
Sterling Properties
Strategy Connection
Summer Sun International
Summer Ville
Timeshare Trader
Timeshare Universe of Portugal
The Timeshare Factory
The TRC
The Unique Solution
The Timeshare Factory
T-One
Triple Options
TS Consultants
TS World
Ultimate Holiday Package
Unique Solutions
Viva Connect
Viva Sol
World Marketing
Worldwide Marketing
Yacht Trader

You can report any company that cold calls you about your timeshare ownership by contacting consumer reports by email at yourtimeshare@hush.com.

Or by posting a comment to our blog..

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