Even so, there seems to be a growing number of new and different fraudulent schemes targeting unsuspecting timeshare owners.
We'd like to remind timeshare owners that it is important to understand that legitimate timeshare resale companies do not use any type of telemarketing or outbound solicitations.
The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) recently issued a consumer advisory regarding a new scheme targeting owners of Mexican timeshares.
Let's take a look at how this scheme unfolds.
The owner of a timeshare in Mexico is contacted by a representative claiming to be an employee of a resale company.
The representative tells the owner that they have a buyer who would like to purchase the owner's timeshare in Mexico.
Here's the hitch - the resale representative states that Mexican law requires the timeshare owner to pay the "sales tax or fee" in advance of the actual sale in order to complete the transaction.
The resale company assures the timeshare owner that they will hold the fees in escrow or in a bank account until the transfer is completed.
ARDA reports hearing of these fraudulent resale companies asking for amounts up to $7,000 for the "sales tax or fees".
The resale company may even offer a guarantee of reimbursement of the tax or fees upon transfer of the property, but timeshare owners are advised to be skeptical of any such claims.
ARDA has been informed that once the resale company received the money from the timeshare owner, the sale was never completed and the money was never returned.
Owners are urged to be cautious when solicited by companies who claim to have buyers willing to purchase their timeshare.
Following you will find very basic points to consider if you receive an unsolicited call telling you there is a buyer standing by to purchase your Mexico timeshare.
- The best way to assure yourself that you are dealing with a reputable resale company is to visit the Better Business Bureau website.
- You do not have to pay any upfront fees in order to sell your timeshare.
Any related closing costs or fees will be handled at the closing.
- Never wire cash to anyone - for any reason.
- You've heard it before, but it's worth saying it again "get it in writing" - request all the information regarding the purchasing of your timeshare in writing.
- Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true!