Many Owners are Victims of Fraud and Do not Know it
If an owner or consumer wonders whether or not they are a victim of timeshare fraud, they have likely been exposed to it on some level. While some timeshare fraud is quite blatant, the great majority comes in a legal gray area that only legal experts and insiders understand. A large portion of this misunderstood timeshare fraud comes in the form of the timeshare presentation. These timeshare sales meetings occur when a timeshare company offers a prize or “gift” to a consumer in return for attending a timeshare presentation.
Sometimes the offering of a prize, insinuating that the consumer has won something, is a level of timeshare fraud in and of itself. These consumers did not win anything. They were in fact chosen based on a certain list that the company compiles in order to lure consumers into the timeshare presentation. By telling the consumer they have won something, this is borderline fraud, and at the very least dishonest.
The timeshare presentation can be fraudulent in many ways that the consumer may be slightly aware of, but they do not know that any formal law has been broken. These presentations are often much longer than advertised. At times, the attendee will be berated and pressured into signing the timeshare contract, which is the entire purpose of the presentation in the first place. If the presentation was advertised as three hours yet lasts five, is this not timeshare fraud? While not as serious as other offenses, this can be categorized as misleading consumers for a profit, which is the very definition of fraud.
Blatant Timeshare Presentation Fraud
Timeshares are absolutely not investments and can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible to sell. Owners who attempt to sell their timeshares can spend years trying to do so, as the market is filled with other sellers and very few buyers. Sellers are lucky to recoup even half of what they originally paid for their timeshare at the time of signing. This does not even take into account all of the fees paid to the timeshare company over the course of ownership. Timeshares are not investments or easily sold, and if this lie is told at the presentation in order to convince anyone to sign a contract, they have become the victim of wholesale timeshare fraud.
There are many types of timeshare fraud, and some are more easily recognized and proven in court. However, even the obvious “timeshares are an investment” fraud may not be easily used against a company due to a lack of evidence. It is always good to look out for signs of timeshare fraud and document any suspected wrongdoing. No timeshare owner knows exactly when they might need to use it.