Various companies regularly appear in fraud reports, including debt collectors, fraudulent investments, and fake cash prize scams that have been prevalent for decades. The timeshare industry is another area that frequently appears in annual fraud statistics.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s recent statistics for 2021, timeshares ranked ninth for fraud claims across the nation. In that year, there were over 50,000 reports of timeshare fraud, which resulted in a collective loss of $95 million. These figures only account for reported timeshare fraud cases, and the actual scale of timeshare fraud is largely unknown when considering unreported cases and those from around the world.
To protect yourself against timeshare fraud, whether from an overly enthusiastic vacation club salesperson, a fly-by-night timeshare resale company, or a company with which you have already signed a contract, knowledge is your best defense. This article will discuss some of the types of timeshare fraud that you may encounter from various companies and individuals. Additionally, if you find yourself in a challenging situation with your current timeshare contract, contact us so we can help you fight back against unfair and fraudulent practices.
According to many timeshare owners, salespeople often use aggressive sales tactics and misrepresent facts or outright lie about timeshare products during sales presentations.
For example, some salespeople may have falsely claimed that annual maintenance fees were capped or would not increase every year by the maximum amount, even though they almost always do. Others might have promised that reserving time at a resort was effortless, only for owners to discover later that it was impossible to use their timeshare when they had vacation time.
Additionally, salespeople frequently misrepresented timeshares as a lucrative real estate investment, implying that owners could make money by renting or selling their units. In reality, however, this is almost never the case.
These examples of salespeople deceiving owners into signing contracts are known legally as “fraud in the inducement.” It is a widespread issue that often leads to regrettable timeshare purchases and drives owners to seek to exit their timeshares.
Unfortunately, the misrepresentations don’t stop after the contract is signed. Timeshare companies often make it difficult to cancel, intentionally delaying or lying about receiving a rescission letter within the time frame allowed by state law.
Being a victim of timeshare fraud does not indicate gullibility or naivety. Timeshare sellers have been using these tactics for a long time, and they often hold the advantage over even the most savvy consumers. The best way to combat these tactics is to educate yourself about them and seek help from experienced individuals who can assist you in fighting back.