Timeshare Scams Post Pandemic
As we emerge from a global pandemic, into the realm of the ‘new normal’, we must remain vigilant to the scam tactics that remain operative within the industry.
We are still facing a difficult road ahead; furlough is coming to an end this month; future lockdowns remain a possibility and inflation and energy prices are rising.
It has been, and remains, an extremely difficult period for Timeshare owners which sadly scammers seek to take advantage of.
At such a period of financial instability, we urge you to remain vigilant to anyone who contacts you regarding your Timeshare.
Below, we look at some of the common scams and the methods used.
Timeshare Cold Callers
At Athena Law, this is our particular ‘pet hate’. Callers will make an unsolicited call and make various assurances, often that a buyer is waiting to purchase your Timeshare. Timeshare products do not appreciate, and scammers often offer inflated prices for re sale to generate your interest.
Please be vigilant and assume any unsolicited call regarding your Timeshare may be a scam. A legitimate Resale Company, Timeshare Exit Company or Specialist Timeshare Solicitor, such as Athena Law, will never make unsolicited calls.
Scam companies will often purport to be representatives from legitimate resale or exit companies. They can be very persuasive and knowledge about the industry, and paint a picture of doom and gloom about the resale market. They can often place a timescale on a resale offer, with the request of a fee payment upfront. Reputable companies will never ask for payment upfront.
Note that these companies can manipulate caller ID, therefore never rely on the number shown; always take a number and call them back.
Viking Ship Timeshare Scam
The Viking timeshare scams are very different to the others as they operate with different intimidatory tactics.
This type of scam gets its name from the timeshare industry term ‘Viking ship’ which is used for shell companies that are created purely with the objective of transferring ownership to them.
As explained by Timeshare.com, ‘they usually work by casting themselves as ‘relief companies’ with ads on the radio or online claiming to be in a position to help timeshare owners by making them an offer to relieve the heavy financial burden that they will encourage with the use of made up statistics and scare tactics. They then claim to be able to help, acting as heroes here to save the day and all you need to do is to pay their fee or sign your timeshare over to them. If you pay the fee, then they disappear along with your money and if you do sign your timeshare over then the way the shell company is set up means that nobody can be sued or held accountable, and they are long gone’.
Timeshare owners are largely at risk of being harassed by cold-callers. They are responsible for at least 90% of scams towards timeshare owners, and losses are now estimated to have surpassed £150 million in total. We strongly recommend not to engage in these scenarios and report any suspicious activity you may encounter.
So, why use Athena Law?
Athena Law is a full-service legal firm with a long-established timeshare dispute resolution department headed by one of the firm’s founding partners, Mr Stephen Boyd. Mr Boyd has been a solicitor for over 20 years and over the last decade has cemented his reputation as one of the leading solicitors in this field, ably supported by his team.
We aim to provide high-quality, client-focused legal advice and support across Manchester, the Northwest, Fylde Coast and London. As part of our service, we will undertake an initial review of your documents and claim at no cost. We will only take on a claim if we believe it has good prospects of success, unlike unregulated timeshare paralegal companies. It is crucial for us to be honest with clients. Clients are engaging solicitors not only to pursue claims but to give them independent advice. If a claim has no prospects, clients should be told. If claims do have prospects, clients should expect the same to be pursued and appropriate legal submission on their behalf.
Due to the complexities of these cases, we can give no guarantees. All we guarantee is that we will use our expertise to provide our clients with the best prospect of success, and we will pursue their claims vigorously.
If you have had the misfortune to entrust your claim with an unregulated “timeshare professional,” please contact us. At the very least, we can provide you with an independent review and pursue any viable claim properly. In addition, you may have a claim against unregulated/unqualified legal representatives. For a free consultation, ring us on 0161 839 8847 or send us an enquiry form on our website.