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 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:
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.
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.
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.
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