What is a shill?

what is a shill

Have you ever heard the word “shill”? It may be that this is brand new to you, but we can assure you that you’ll have seen at least one shill at work either in person or online. If you read forums or reviews you will definitely have come across their work (in varying degrees of quality, we would estimate).

Internet shills

The internet has changed so much about our lives, for better and worse, and few things have been so affected as the way we buy goods and services. It is in this area which shills so greatly excel. Shills are, generally speaking, people who partake in a scam in order to pull victims in or to generate urgency in consumers. This is no different on the internet except that shills online are generally paid to leave reviews or comments which make a certain product or company look good, or alternatively bring down the reputation of the competition.

The evolution of shills

The word, and the tradition, comes from the “shillabers” which were paid by the circuses to mingle with the crowds upon arrival. They would listen to the ringmasters speech and, once it was done, then rush to buy a ticket in order to give a sense of urgency to the “real” customers who would often rush behind them. You might also find that shills are in open auctions today; placed to drive up prices.

How can you distinguish a genuine commenter?

Judging the sincerity of a shill is somewhat of a fine and subtle art which only gets more difficult if the shill in question is a skilled writer. One way in which you can check if a comment was posted by a shill is to copy and paste it into a Google search to see if it has been left elsewhere with different company name. Shills are paid per review or comment, and so they often re-use pieces to up their profit margin and save time. This is very common if they’re switching out a company name to complain and recommend a solution.

Have you experienced the effects of a shill on line or elsewhere? Please share your thoughts.

Related article: Online Scams to Beware

Mexico: Timeshare Resale Scams

timeshare resale scams

The Mexican Timeshare industry has, sadly, long been targeted by scammers and fraudsters and though the industry is now more regulated and protective of its customers than ever timeshare resale scams can still affect people. These days, it is more common for fraudsters target those who already own timeshares and timeshare memberships through resale scam; and they do so in a devious way!

Mexico Timeshare Resale Scams

Timeshare resale scams often assume the identity of a legitimate company or resale agent, sometimes even going so far as to impersonate a person who works for a specific company! This means that the old checks through the internet and Better Business Bureau are less likely to tip you off to a scam.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is trending when its comes to modern scams. It is a real worry because it puts the consumer in a vulnerable position as well as tarnishing the reputation of otherwise legitimate timeshare companies. It also makes it easier for fraudsters to get away with fraud. The really smart scammers will most likely have set up a dummy website to fool any victims who go prying into their story, too, so you can never be certain that an internet search will tip you off to a scam these days.

Timeshare resale scams and how they work

Timeshare resale scams do pretty much what they say on the tin; they involve fraudsters convincing people that they have a buyer looking to purchase your timeshare (often at an attractive inflated price). They will tell you that they can put you in touch with this buyer (who is in quite the hurry by the way) if you only fill some paperwork and wire some money so that they can complete some simple security “checks” to sell your timeshare. Once they have completed title searches and surveys, etc, they will begin to get the ball rolling…

Of course, this never happens.

Either they take your money and run, or you hear back within a few weeks with a request for more money so that they can investigate and fix certain “anomalies” related to the sale of your timeshare. These extra fees can arise quite a few times before the scammers are done, and very often people begin to feel that they are “in too deep” to back out of the deal. They hold on in hope of a payday that never comes, and will very often end up in debt before losing their timeshares anyway.

Prevention from timeshare resale scams

Prevention is the best protection when it comes to dealing with these scammers, and as so many fraudsters assume false identities you need to up your detection game! These wolves may approach you in very convincing sheepskin, but there are certain things that they cannot hide.

When someone approaches you with a resale offer consider the following things:

Correspondence

Do all written correspondences sound professional? Is the spelling and grammar to the standard you would expect of professional or, in the case of contracts, legal documents? Be particularly wary of badly written contracts and websites. Correspondence from people whose first language is not English is likely to have errors but official websites and legal documents should not.

Wiring money

If a timeshare resale company asks you to wire money or wish to levy a fee upfront you should be very, very wary!

Do you believe it?

Is what you’re being offered for your timeshare reasonable? If it seems too good to be true then it most likely is! Check the market rates to see what you can really expect from a resale.

Pressure

Timeshare scammers will use every trick in the book to close a deal. If the person you’re dealing with attempts to emotionally blackmail or pressure you, or if they become aggressive when you begin to question the deal you should be very wary. The timeshare industry is regulated tightly; unethical sales practices are not allowed.

Gut feeling

If your gut feeling tells you that something is off then it most likely is; intuition is often a great indicator of when things are going wrong.

Once you understand and recognize how these timeshare resale scammers operate you will be much less likely to fall for them. Remember that such scams are not limited to Mexican timeshares, either!

Related article: Canceling your Timeshare Contract with Villa del Palmar

Villa del Palmar Cabo San Lucas

villa del palmar cabo

If you are looking for a quality vacation location in Mexico, look no further than the Villa del Palmar Cabo, a five-star optional all-inclusive beach resort in Cabo San Lucas along with similar quality in the resorts of Riviera Nayarit, Loreto, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun.

Villa del Palmar Cabo San Lucas

In Cabo San Lucas, the Villa del Palmar brand has been operating for over 20 years. Being the second Villa del Palmar resort to be built by the Villa Group owners following on from the success of Villa del Palmar and Villa del Mar in Puerto Vallarta, the Villa del Palmar Cabo was opened and was shortly followed by Villa del Arco and Villa La Estancia. These resorts are situated on the famous El Medano beach, next to each other and overlooking the El Arco rock formation in Cabo San Lucas.

High-Quality Brand

Villa del Arco, Villa del Palmar Cabo, and Villa La Estancia all have access to the Desert Spa. Villa del Arco is a top notch luxury resort offering additional restaurants and pools to guests who may also visit the Villa del Palmar Cabo resort as and when they like. Villa del Palmar Cabo has direct beach access, admittance to state of the art fitness facilities, restaurants, multi-leveled pools, and the largest spa in the area. If you wish to make Cabo your home, the Villa La Estancia, a top end hotel, can offer real estate opportunities and residences.

Cabo San Lucas for vacations in Mexico

Cabo San Lucas which has a warm sunny climate throughout the year is a popular beach destination with many activities on land and sea. One of the popular rocky landmarks is El Arco, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Other attractions are whale watching, diving and desert tours. You are also free to enjoy the restaurants, bars, and the lively night scene.

Recommended article: Review: Villa del Palmar Timeshare

Villa del Palmar Timeshare Complaints Exposed

Villa del Palmar Timeshare Complaints

Exposed! Find out all you need to know about Villa del Palmar Timeshare Complaints and more timeshare complaints relating to Villa Group timeshare products, such as: Villa del Palmar, Villa del Mar, Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta, Villa del Palmar Flamingos, Villa del Arco, UVCI, Universal Vacation Club International.

Villa del Palmar Timeshare Complaints Exposed

If you have purchased a timeshare from Villa del Palmar, you’re going to love having the option (called Villa Preferred Access) to pick from penthouses, studios or one and two bedroom villas. That’s because Villa del Palmar is a one of the best resort brands owned by Villa Group Resorts who also own Villa del Mar, Villa del Arco and Villa La Estancia brands. You can enjoy the prestige of Villa del Palmar resorts in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas and the Islands of Loréto. All of Mexico’s Villa del Palmar timeshare resorts offer luxuries such as spas, gyms, multiple pools onsite and tennis courts.

Read your contract
At Villa del Palmar timeshare presentations, you can be certain that the agents will encourage you to read your entire contract before signing. So, use this chance to get very familiar with all the incentives promised. Since Villa del Palmar is known to be true to its promises (because the company is legitimate), you can expect all the promises in your contract to be covered legally. To date, there have been very few complaints about Villa del Palmar’s sales practices, and clients are still satisfied with their presentation experience even when they decide not to sign the contract.

Efficient complaints procedures
You can expect Villa del Palmar timeshare complaints to be addressed efficiently and professionally because there are trained representatives manning the phones to ensure you have a positive experience. With that being said, it’s no surprise why Villa del Palmar receives high ratings for their customer service practices. Not only are they efficient in what they do, they also tend to take care of most incidents with no difficulty.

You get what you pay for
The timeshare industry gives high recommendations for Villa del Palmar’s sales practice, and the brand is highly acknowledged by ARDA (American Resort Development Association). You can expect to get authentic information concerning their marketing of their timeshare memberships. Unless you run into a fraudulent company offering timeshare cancellation services (which is very rare), you can expect your experience to be exactly the way it was pitched to you in Villa del Palmar’s 90-minute presentation. So even though it may seem like the sales agent is just doing the typical marketing pitch like any other salesman, you can rest assured that the presentation is based on legitimate information. Your presentation will be an authentic rendition of what to expect from a Villa del Palmar timeshare experience. But if you feel pressured into signing the contract without thinking it over, you can always elect to speak with a senior staff member.

In short, consider Villa del Palmar timeshare resorts to be a premium selection for couples, family and friends. You get many benefits as a timeshare member, so make it a point to know all you can about your membership to see how it works into your current lifestyle. If you make yourself familiar with the provisions of the contract, you shouldn’t worry about making unnecessary complaints. So, take charge of your ownership by being ask knowledgeable as you can about how you are investing your money in this timeshare opportunity.

Recommended article: The Villa Group Timeshare Reviews

How to Tell a Scam from a Genuine Timeshare

genuine timeshare

An old adage states that “forewarned is forearmed”, and I do believe that this is true, which is why I have dedicated this week’s blog post to make sure you can tell when you’re being scammed, and when a timeshare company is genuine. There are some simple signs to tell a scam from a genuine timeshare company.

How to tell a scam from a genuine timeshare

If you keep your eyes open the signs of a timeshare scam can become apparent pretty quickly; there are a number of warning signs which can help you to identify a scam, as opposed to a genuine timeshare. Read on to find out how you can tell when someone is trying to scam you, and how you can protect yourself from such fraudster. These are the various key signs of a timeshare scam in operation:

Lies and dishonesty

The first thing you have to ask is how honest the timeshare company is with you in its dealings; “white lies” might not seem like much, but they can be the tip of the iceberg. For example, if you are promised that the timeshare presentation would be only a few hours but it takes twice as long, or if you never receive the promised incentive (or you were asked to pay for it), this could be a warning sign of a timeshare scam. It’s about integrity; if you catch them in one lie, you must ask how many others they are telling to close a timeshare sale.

Bad reputation or no reputation

If you cannot find any real information about the company on the internet, not even complaints or reviews, then they are most likely fraudulent (or exceptionally fresh off the block and worth steering clear of). Fly-by-nights with no paper trail or history are usually timeshare scams. If you want to be safe we recommend that you only deal with timeshare groups that have a solid reputation; 10 years or more experience would be ideal.

Timeshare Licenses

It can be hard to check if the timeshare company has all the right licenses and registrations, but there are some indicators are a company is legitimate. First and foremost, keep an eye on those representatives who are allowed inside the airports and shopping malls, and note the name of their companies. Only companies which have all of their licenses, etc, in order to be allowed in such places. Likewise, you should ask to see their identification if they stop you in the street.

Are they affiliated with an exchange network?

Most legitimate timeshare companies are affiliated with an exchange network, so while the lack of affiliation is not a guarantee that they’re a scam you can be sure that they’re not if they work with companies like RCI or Interval International.

Follow your gut

Ok, so this isn’t scientific and not everyone has strong intuition, but more often than not if you’ve got a bad feeling about something it’s for a good reason. This is perhaps the first warning you will get of a timeshare scam; if something feels off keep your eyes peeled for the other signs.

Recommended article: Canceling your Timeshare Contract with Villa del Palmar