Summer Timeshare Travel Vacation Scams

Timeshare VacationWith the summer vacation season drawing closer it is important to watch out for false advertisements so you don’t end up losing your vacation savings. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission averages 15,000 consumer complaints each year that related to timeshare or vacation rental frauds. It is important to at least know the basics regarding these unscrupulous scammer plots so you can avoid becoming a victim this summer.

The major problem lately is often related to timeshare properties. In these high pressure sales pitches you are nearly forced into purchasing a timeshare, sometimes when you don’t even want to. Those who have the income and means to technically afford a timeshare are roped in with free gifts, dinner or show accommodations and sometimes even just straight cash. They offer you these “free” gifts in return for your promise to hear them out and learn about timeshares. Often these sales professionals will even lie to you and explain that a timeshare can easily be rented out to cover the costs of ownership. This just is not true, with so many timeshares out on the market today the fact is that you can rent a timeshare out from the resorts or timeshare companies for much cheaper than it costs to own one.

Most people are just not ready to attend a timeshare presentation sales pitch and still walk away with the free gift. These timeshare salespeople are dead set on making you buy a timeshare and will simply not take no for an answer.

As if the “legitimate” timeshare sellers weren’t bad enough there are also illegal scammers who will flat out lie to get a meager upfront fee leaving you with even less money. These misleading people will advertise vacation rentals or timeshares that don’t exist or that they don’t own and charge an upfront fee for their service, once you pay this fee you never hear from them again. They will also prey on current timeshare owners who just want to get rid of their timeshare. They will promise that they have a guaranteed buyer waiting and once you pay them an upfront fee for their service they will disappear leaving you with that unwanted timeshare and being the victim of yet another scam.

Check out the Better Business Bureau report on any company that you do business with.  Also, make sure that the company has been in business for a long period of time.  Fraudulent companies cannot survive for very long.

A BBB Warning of St. Louis Timeshare Firm “Property Experts Marketing”

In the St. Louis area the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has identified another fraudulent timeshare resale and rental company. The company is claiming to be located in downtown St. Louis at a building that is vacant and padlocked. The company is Property Experts Marketing and is one among many of the scammer established companies that claim to sell or rent your vacation timeshare in return for upfront fees. Unfortunately once they receive the upfront payment, which can be up to thousands of dollars, from a timeshare owner there is no other action taken to get the timeshare sold. Often times a buyer or renter is promised to be ready and waiting but the timeshare is still never sold.

One timeshare owner has reported being scammed for $6,300. Another unfortunate victim had reported a loss of over $45,000 in fees with no sale or compensation received. The BBB can only offer limited advice to owners looking to sell a timeshare. The best thing to do is research, make sure you are dealing with a legitimate business that is not just acting as a front for illegal scams. Upfront fees WITHOUT WRITTEN GUARANTEES are the first sign of trouble, any significant fee that reaches even into the hundreds of dollars you should be very wary about. Try to contact the company you are dealing with and get any references available and contact them to make sure it is legitimate.

Out of the BBB’s investigation of this specific timeshare resale company they have not found out much. A representative of Property Experts Marketing while talking to a BBB investigator said that the company does operate at a suite on the seventh floor, when asked to meet the representative explained that he was leaving at that very moment. The company representative, John Orozco, said that his companies legal department would handle the BBB complaint filed by a Texan timeshare owner and that someone from the legal department would contact the BBB to clear up any misunderstanding, there has been no response since from Property Experts Marketing.

Timeshare Salespersons Form Class-Action Suit Against Vacation Charters Ltd.

Judgment ScalesA class action lawsuit has been formed combining roughly 275 people in a single suit against Vacation Charters Ltd. and, owner of the Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony and other similar timeshare resorts, W. Jack Kalins. The disputes are due to overpaid taxes that each employee had to pay because they had been classified as independent contractors for selling timeshares. They were also not allotted any employee benefits such as medical coverage. Had the workers been treated as employees it would have obligated Kalins to provide them with benefits as well as pay a portion of their federal tax contributions.

The ruling by Judge Idee C. Fox is what will allow these over 275 salespersons to file in a single lawsuit instead of having to file individually. Attorney Mark Kearney, who will be working in favor of the workers, has estimated there will be a total of 21 million owed to the salespersons.

The ruling will be for salespersons who were employed from June of 2005 to the end of 2008. At the beginning of 2009 the timeshare company began paying salespersons as employees, providing benefits and paying part of their federal tax contributions. Attorney Steven Leventhal for Vacation Charters maintains that they have paid all their salespersons based on state law and that no violations were enacted on behalf of the timeshare company.

Aspen Club Timeshare Development Approved

Aspen Club and SpaThe Aspen Club and Spa’s proposal to develop timeshares was passed on Tuesday June 2nd by a 3 to 1 vote by the Aspen City Council. Councilman Steve Skadron unexpectedly voted in favor of the timeshares, though still unsure whether any guarantees would be upheld to provide public benefits. This decision was made with the consideration that had these timeshare proposals not been approved for construction then the entire aspen club and spa may be closed down. The new developer would most likely demolish the aspen club to build homes in place of it.

The approved motion will allow the club to build on an additional 90,000 square feet and construct 20 new condos to be sold as timeshares, 14 housing units and a new 41 space underground parking structure. These new developments will take place close to the roaring fork river near the tennis courts. The proceeds from the timeshare sales will go towards improving other facilities at the club.

Mayor Mick Ireland and council member Skadron are deeply invested in making sure an athletic facility will remain accessible to local residents.  The club has also promised to allot a 0.25 percent assessment of the sale of timeshares to go towards a fund for enhancement of community health and wellness. This assessment is estimated to make between 250,000 and $500,000 throughout the 25 year duration, assuming the initial sales of timeshares are around $80 to $100 million. The club will also spend $5 million on capital and programming improvements.