These types of scams seek to capitalize on the overwhelming need for ways to cancel timeshare contracts through timeshare donation, timeshare resale schemes and timeshare rental listing fraud.
It’s not uncommon for timeshare owners to end up on call lists that are bought and sold on the black market. These call lists give American vacation services a perfectly crafted demographic to which they market their shady deals.
While the FTC has spend the past year stepping up its efforts to crack down on these fraudsters, there are always new and creative fraudulent business services taking aim at those who are eager to find a way to get out of a timeshare contract.
American vacation services scams and schemes
These companies present themselves as a solution to timeshare owners who are overwhelmed by high fees or are no longer able to use their timeshares. Some claim that they will magically make your timeshare contract disappear through a timeshare donation scheme that will let you claim up to $5,000 in charitable donations that can be written off on your taxes at the end of the year.
Others will tell you that they have an eager buyer in the wings who is really interested in purchasing your timeshare for thousands of dollars! All you have to do is pay a few hundred or a few thousand dollars in fees to make your sale go through.
Yet another American vacation services scam will offer a “timeshare listing service” where your timeshare will be advertised to thousands or millions of potential timeshare buyers or vacation renters…again, for a fee of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The travel industry has been booming for the last decade, so people are far less skeptical of new and different offerings for American vacation services in the sector. The advent of the Internet as a way to buy and sell travel-related services has created fertile ground for innovative ways for people with less-than-ethical motives to take advantage of trusting people who are looking for creative ways to solve their timeshare problems.
It is surprisingly easy for anyone with midlevel programming skills to set up an elaborate website that will trick people into believing they are legitimate American vacation services. Flashy graphics, false promises and misleading verbiage are easily crafted to make a quick buck off of desperate timeshare owners.
How to avoid scams perpetrated by American vacation services
Fortunately, there are also respectable websites to help combat this type of scammer. There are websites solely dedicated to reporting rip-offs so that people who are researching whether or not a company is operating legitimately have a point of reference to make an informed decision.
Knowing this, many American vacation services scams will target their cold-calling efforts at senior citizens whom they’re hoping are not Internet savvy and will be more likely to trust a friendly voice over the phone without going online to find out if the company has any derogatory reviews or rip-off reports.
Checking with the Better Business Bureau and the local Chamber of Commerce where the business claims to be located are two great places to start when researching American vacation services that are offering to get you out of your timeshare.