Law

Everything You Need to Know About Timeshare Scams

On the surface, a timeshare may sound like the sort of thing you may like to invest in. A guaranteed holiday each year in a place that you love, and you own it for the rest of your life!

But the reality of timeshares is rather different, and when you look a little deeper it becomes apparent just how much of a scam they are.

To help you avoid being caught out and lumped with a financial liability, we’ve put together this quick guide on everything you need to know about timeshare scams.

Why are they a scam?

Often people buy into the idea of a timeshare in the belief that it is a good investment, and will make them money further down the line as it increases in value.

What’s more, you’re guaranteed cheap holidays every year in luxury accommodation somewhere really desirable. It’s a total win-win situation, right?

The problem is, all you’re actually buying is the right to book a stay at a property, and not an actual property itself. Something that you can do for free on sites like booking.com.

Then you also have to pay a maintenance fee each year which you will be told is for the upkeep of the property, but this is how the timeshare company generates the majority of its revenue.

What’s more, you’ll have to pay to get there, which means booking your own flights and transfers and can be quite costly.

During your stay, you will no doubt have to do all of your own cooking and cleaning as often the properties are self-catering, and your meals will be yet another expense.

In the end, you may well come to the realisation that you could have simply booked a full holiday including your flights and transfers and accommodation in one simple package and enjoyed a stay at an all-inclusive resort, all for far less money and hassle!

What if you want to get rid of your timeshare?

Once you realise you’ve been conned into paying hefty maintenance fees every year for the rest of your life, you may wish to get rid of your timeshare. But this is not so simple either. People are wise to them these days and so there are a lot more people trying to sell than looking to buy.

That investment you thought you were making will actually prove rather difficult to get rid of, with some people even choosing to donate their timeshares to charities such as Donate My Timeshare just to get out of the annual fees.

We spoke to the Timeshare Consumer Association who are independent advisors and they told us: “People need to be just as careful to avoid getting scammed when they want to get out of their timeshare, as there are now an abundance of ‘exit scheme’ scams.”

You can read more about these types of scams and many other timeshare related scams on their comprehensive list here.

We hope this has helped to shed some light onto the world of timeshares and hopefully armed you with the knowledge you need to avoid getting scammed yourself.

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