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Fraud Prevention and how you could get your money back

It is wise to take council from a lawyer that is familiar with timeshare in the country that you purchased. Lawyer specialised in Timeshare Law, claiming cases all over Spain. contact Javier Correa Lawyer nº 1071 of the Las Palmas Bar Association.  The first consultation is free

 Ensure you read this article so you can present the facts that’s required so you can be advised accordingly.

Very Bad Boys: We need to understand that there are companies that are set up specifically to defraud and scam. They are very professional and move around at the first sign of detection. They operate in all Industries, unfortunately, scamming and fraud is part of our society. It is sad and frustrating, but we know it happens. The idea of getting money back from a company like this, who is able to melt away into the background, is extremely unlikely.

The next type of company sails very close to the wind appearing not to honour that was promised. It may be that they have a rogue salesperson who miss-represented the Company and they  may not be aware of this. If they are a sizable company they will have their own Solicitors/Attorneys to deal with complaints alongside their own Customer Services Department who will assess the complaint and how to best deal with it. If they view that your approach is lightweight and has no real structure and little substance you will just get tied up in red tape.

If your case is viewed with substance and appears a serious one, then the Company would much prefer to deal with you direct than at a formal court hearing. You are, therefore, more likely to get a favorable result.

DISCOVER HOW TO FIGHT BACK! Go to the link  "Operation PBTYou will be amazed how simple it is together, we can close down Scam Companies.

Prevention is the best way of dealing with scam companies. Review the notes provided in this “report” on prevention. If you paid by credit card there may be a chance you might be able to make a claim against your Credit Card Company if you used your card as payment for your purchase. All countries have different rules and regulations governing the protection you have with your credit cards and you need to find out where you stand with this in the country you are domiciled.

DISCOVER HOW TO FIGHT BACK! Go to the link  "Operation PBTYou will be amazed how together, we can close down Scam Companies.

The Good Guys: There are legitimate Timeshare Companies who are established and may have had a representative of theirs who may have confused or been misunderstood. Some timeshare products are a little more complex then they were 30 years ago. However we need to do our homework too as we should have been given literature to read through to support and supplement our presentation. These Companies are here to stay, so it is not within their interest to have received a complaint that could affect their business. They will have their Customer Services Department who will assess the complaint and how to best deal with it. Write to the Customer services manager and copy this into their CEO. Write clearly and define what your unhappy about and ask them to get back to you within 14 days. I have had testimonials recently, where resorts have put this right.

We have to put this in perspective, because, you may have an issue with a particular Company, this does not make it a bad Company. I doubt if there is a business that has not, at times, had challenges of its own making. The right approach can be a win, win scenario for both parties, as the Company will be sure to tighten up on an area of weakness that it may not even have been aware of.

Read this you have been warned! Confessions of a Timeshare Scammer?

This is where the right approach may just get you the result you desire.

Scam Alert: Prevention is Better Than Cure

Scammers will approach you in various ways.

1) Face to face meetings: There are very good professional timeshare salespeople and companies out there. Unfortunately they sometimes get tarred with the same brush as the minority of the bad guys in the Industry.

2) Take notes in your face to face meetings: In order to deter the bad guys, take your own notes at the meeting. The good guys won’t mind as it shows you have interest and it will help sometimes bring clarity to what can seem a little complex. The bad guys will feel very uncomfortable with this and you may end up having a very short meeting. They will be aware that notes taken in the meeting could be used in court of law. They may ask you "why are you taking notes, don't you trust me"? 

Why shouldn’t you take notes? Simply explain that "of course I trust you, it's myself I don't trust because at the end of this meeting your going to ask me to make a decission are you not"? The salesman will have to confirm this. You then explain that your taking notes to provide clarity and have something to refer back to. If you wish at the end of the meeting why not ask the salesperson to varify your main points taken if they agree ask the salesperson to sign to that effect.

A scam company will know that a record taken of the meeting is not in their interest.

If you have signed a contract based on misleading or fraudulent information, presented by either party, the contract is not legal.

3) Telephone: If you are cold called and timeshare and holidays are mentioned, don't just put the phone down. Tell them you no longer own timeshare and have given this to a relative they will then have no interest in phoning you back. These skilled individuals will try to create a bond with you and the longer you are on the phone the more likely you will be scammed. It would be rare for a professional, genuine Companies in this Industry to cold call you. The odds are not in your favour and its highly likely that this will be a scam company tell them you will be recording the call. Pause for the reaction and more than likely they will go away. If not simply tell them that you don't own timeshare and this was given to a friend then put the phone down.

In principle there is nothing wrong in cold calling as a number of Industries employ this method. Sadly in this Industry this is the favoured sales tactic of scam companies. It may be that a consumer body might approve a company that employs these tactics.

Don’t agree to anything over the phone or email until you have the company checked out. In most cases a simple Internet search will take you to forums or websites with a lot of information. Do a search on company name, telephone number, postcode or website. There is no need to do anything on the same day take your time to check everything out.

Unavailable Caller ID: There are laws in most countries that protect people from telephone-based scams. Your telephone caller ID will act as a warning sign as no scam company wants to show who they are. The legal implications in most countries for companies running scam operations would have grave consequences for them. Therefore ensure that you check out and look at the caller ID when answering an unsolicited phone call!

The bad guys are the minority in the timeshare industry but they get the biggest media coverage!

What facilities does your country have to protect you against unsolicited telephone calls? In the UK, you can register with the telephone preference service.

4) Emails: The fraudsters search out those selling or renting their timeshares on the Internet. They then send email mailshots in there thousands to everyone, so the odds are, that at some stage, you will be contacted! There will be an offer to assist you and, guess what…. they may even have a buyer for a small upfront fee! Please make sure you create a temporary new Hotmail address specifically for promoting your timeshare. Never promote your personal contact details on the Internet.

How to Avoid Being Scammed in Timeshare

First and foremost, do not pay any money upfront! There are highly skilled individuals who will attempt to do nothing more than get money from you. They will have little motive or real ability to do anything else after they receive the money from you.

Money upfront: The Scam Company will have a long list of justifiable reasons for you to pay them money upfront. This can be anything from, for e.g., legal fees, search fees, title search and marketing fees. The list will go on. Do not pay any money upfront.

Do not give them your card details for any purpose. There is no guarantee that you will get your money back.

A common question asked is: How did the Company obtain my contact details? If you are attempting to sell or rent your timeshare and leave your direct personal contact details, you will more than likely be contacted by various timeshare companies wanting to "help" you sell or even "buy" your timeshare. Worse still, there may be a rogue person working in administration of either a resort or an Exchange Company. They can download thousands of Timeshare owner’s details on a disc and sell them on to a scam company.

Yes, it is against the Data Protection Act, but it happens!

Prevention is better than cure and so we must equip ourselves and inform our friends with some basics to ensure that we do not fall fail of these scam companies by forwarding on this article.

Scam Alert: Is This Really a Scam?

First off, it has to be proven that fraud has been committed. Please follow the advice given below if this is genuinely the case refer to “Scam Alert I am a victim” this will provide you with a strategy about how to prepare a report to support your claim.

I have found that some timeshare owners believe that they have been scammed, as they are not able to use their timeshare as they were told at their presentation. In some cases, the timeshare owners were not shown how to use their timeshare effectively and were not made aware of other options that were available to them. In most cases as mentioned before it was too much information and it can be confusing if you are new to timeshare or this method of timeshare. Refer to other articles within Timeshare Weekly as it may well be you are only lacking a little knowledge on best use.

On some occasions the clients were not really misled into the contract but, years after, decide that they don’t want to continue because now it does not suit their holiday style so they look backwards and interpret this now as a misrepresentation from the beginning.

Scam Alert: I Am a Victim!!!

Now you are kicking yourself, as it seemed such a great deal and now you have just joined the victims club! After we have got over blaming our partner or ourselves for agreeing to this, what can we do if we have been given misleading and fraudulent information?

Most timeshare owners think that they can only cancel their contract during the cancellation period. Cancellation of your contract can happen at any anytime if fraud or misrepresentation has taken place.

Although in Spain - arts. 1301 Civil Code - there is a period of 4 years to claim this. A different thing is if the contract goes against a mandatory Law, then there is no time limit for example a timeshare contract for more than 50 years.

If you have signed a contract based on misleading or fraudulent information, presented by either party, the contract is not legal. Timeshare Companies will not want a large class action against them. Dealing with owners is much easier and less likely to cause a precedent and open up further problems.

In contract law, a precedent is a legal case that establishes a rule or judgment that in most cases subsequent cases would follow. So if you have a strong case, the Timeshare Company will likely want to deal with you and not take than chance that this could cause a precedent and open up the doors so that other claiments can use this to support their case.

Timeshare Companies are prepared to deal with complaints and they will have their own Solicitors/Attorneys to deal with your case. This is where it is important to prepare a strong case presenting all the relevant details and facts.

Scam Alert: Fight Back!

Regardless of what country you live in, if you believe you have been scammed or misrepresntation has taken place, this next section is there to allow you to formulate a report, to establish if there’s enough weight that would be too uncomfortable for a Timeshare Company to want this to go public. They may then come to an agreeable settlement with you.

If the Timeshare Company refutes this, then your only recourse may be a formal lawsuit.

Internet Action: I have noted that some timeshare owners have used the Internet as a weapon, publishing factual details of their grievance and claim against a Timeshare Company. Care should be taken with this approach, as you have to be able to back up your statements, as you would not wish to be counter sued.

If you have been the unfortunate victim of a scam or misrepresntation, then you need to put a strategy together in order to work towards a successful outcome.

1) Be aware that, all timeshares purchased, fall under the jurisdiction of the state or the country where you purchased. Your next step is to identify in your country any Governing Bodies that oversee timeshare for advice. There may also be consumer Groups that may offer further guidance and support. A simple Internet search should reveal this to you, or you could make a call to your Resort/Clubs Trust Company.

Do not expect your laws to protect you if bought elsewhere worldwide. For example, if you purchased a timeshare in Mexico and you live in countries within Europe, USA or Canada, your laws will not apply and protect you. In this example, timeshares in Mexico must follow the regulations for timeshares governed by the Mexican Secretary of Tourism.

It is wise to take council from a lawyer that is familiar with timeshare in the country that you purchased. For all Timeshare matters relating to Spanish Timeshare Companies, Timeshare Weekly would recommend that you contact Javier Correa Lawyer nº 1071 of the Las Palmas Bar Association. Canary Islands. The first consultation is free. Ensure you read this article so you can present the facts that’s required so you can be advised accordingly.

2) In order to support your case so this can be investigated, you need to provide a detailed history of what has taken place. This should include the details of the timeshare presentation, regardless of whether this was a telephone scam or you attended an actual meeting. Important features to note are: the Company you dealt with, their contact details and location of company. If a sales meeting took place, please state the time of day, the date, names of those present, misrepresentation of facts, and instances where you felt you were pressured or mislead. Include photocopies of any paperwork that was provided to you or which you signed to support your case. Be specific regarding what you purchased.

In particular, state why the presentation was misleading and how you would not have bought the timeshare in the first place if you had not had some of these misleading statements, tactics or promises?

Use the information you can recall and have recorded to write a detailed and concise letter that follows a logical sequence. Specifically ask for the cancellation of your timeshare contract. Be sure to make a copy for yourself, your Solicitor/lawyer, your credit card company/bank (depending on method of payment), and any other regulatory Governing body or trade in your country.

3) State in the letter that you will be contacting the timeshare company in three days to confirm receipt and to provide credit card info or bank details for a full refund. This will get their attention.

4) Send copies of your letter to the Customer Service Manager, Sales Manager, CEO and owner of the resort/organisation that you purchased from. If you do not have this, you can call the Customer Service telephone number provided with your purchasing information. They will probably have an Internet presence, so that is also a source of information. Depending on the country you purchased you may only have a 3 day cooling off period. If you are no longer within the cooling off period. You have a little more time to prepare your case. Let them know that if you do not receive a satisfactory response within 14 working days that copy letters will be going to their timeshare governing Companies in their Country and any legal bodies that would have an interest where alleged misrepresentation and fraud has taken place.

6) As stated in your letter, telephone the Customer Service Manager in thee days after sending your letter. Do not speak to anyone other than the Customer Service Manager unless they are of a higher position in the resort/organisation. Be persistent, and call back until you are able to speak with someone with authority. At this point, request a full refund, including your initial deposit.

5) If you are within the cooling off period send your cancellation/rescission request via Registered Mail with confirmation receipt by email and fax. This will ensure that your message will be received. If outside of the cooling off period ensure you prepare your case of misrepresntation as suggested.

7) Stay focused on your objective of the cancellation/recession of your contract. Be polite and calm throughout the process and avoid a lengthy discussion of how you feel you were wronged. Refer them back to your letter and keep to the facts.

8) Once a refund or agreed settlement and cancellation/rescission is made final, the Timeshare Company will want the return of all their documentation. Ensure that you keep a copy of the contract and documents for your records. When returning them, make sure that you attach a letter stating that this Deed/Contract is returned on the condition of cancellation of the Contract. Send this by registered delivery.

9) Upon resolution of your cancellation/rescission, contact the authorities and anyone else who was involved in your visit to the Resort presentation. Let them know that this has now been resolved.

If you have not achieved the result you feel that you are entitled too. Then as mentioned earlier If the Timeshare Company refutes this, then your only recourse may be a formal lawsuit.

In summery The bad guys are the minority in the timeshare industry but they get the biggest media coverage! This document will be regularly updated so ensure that you visit this again. If we work together and forward this information to our friends in timeshare, we may start to see more positive coverage of our Industry

As prevention is better than cure and so we must equip ourselves and inform our friends with some basics to ensure that we do not fall fail of these scam companies. It is essential that we do not also take the word of a salesperson that provides a verbal promise. It is essential that you insist that this is written into the contract on headed paper by some one in authority.

The Timeshare industry is a great concept and has exceeded the expectations of a very high percentage of timeshare owners who work the system. Review the testimonial’s on this website. A high percentage of timeshare owners I have found sadly have had little after care service and just don't know how to use their timeshare effectively.

Do not allow any unfortunate experience you have had in this Industry to deny you of great quality holidays as enjoyed by the millions of timeshare owners. There is only a small percentage of timeshare owners in reality that have real reason to complain, unfortunately its this that creates attention and you will see forums and the media focusing on this. It’s a shame that they did not sit down with the many timeshare owners who I have met or sent me in testimonials.

This could have happened to you in any other Industry such as double-glazing, Builders firms and financial advisors to name a few.

Get back on board with a reputable company.

Kind regards


P.S. Any typos, grammar and spelling mistakes are obviously deliberate and free as my gift to you.

Founder - about the author