People often have mixed feelings about timeshare memberships. Some say they are an excellent investment while others swear all timeshare offers are scams. But this article is not a debate on the validity of timeshares. It’s a discussion on the source of some timeshare scams: timeshare rental.
Avoid timeshare rental scams
A rental scam goes after people not expecting to be taken just like any other rental opportunity that is a scam. For instance, let’s say you see a nice timeshare rental opportunity in some ad. You pay your money to reserve it for the family. However, when you get there, you find out you don’t have the week you thought you reserved. Or, you may not be able to use the property until you catch up the maintenance fees the owner has neglected to pay. Either way, you got taken for your money. Some people even experience credit card scamming and identity theft when dealing with these types of offers.
I can’t tell you enough how important it is to remember that it could happen to an unsuspecting person trying to get any type of vacation rental opportunity. In some cases, you are more likely to be taken in non-timeshare vacation rental offers on popular vacation rental websites than with timeshare rental offers.
How to protect yourself from timeshare rental scams
By following some simple steps, you can avoid timeshare rental scams as well as other types of rental fraud.:
- Your rental agreement should come with some type of guarantee. Also, the site you use should have the proper security for processing credit card payments. It is a good idea to only try out companies you know are authentic and have been around.
- Always be cautious of companies offering rental rates much lower than what is commonly charged. This may be a sign of a scam.
- If you see a resort offer in an ad, always check to see if you can find any information (like reviews) about the company on the internet.
- Any reputable timeshare website will make offers like other traditional companies do. Requests to do upfront payments and wire transfers are often scams.
- Never release personal information like bank information, credit card information and social security information.
- Verify your booked reservation. Verify the name of the owner, and check to see if your reservation time is documented. Also, make sure you don’t need to satisfy any unpaid fees before using the property.
Timeshare rental scams that affect owners
Unfortunately, even timeshare owners can become victims of timeshare rental scams if they try to rent out their unused time. Companies demanding you pay a fee before securing a renter are usually not legitimate companies, so look for a company that charges a commission instead.