Greater Manchester Police have issued a warning to people who may have been approached by fraudsters offering huge cash returns if they invest in luxury timeshare properties. Incredibly fraudsters have been claiming that people can become property millionaires if they invest some of their hard-earned cash. It is not clear how fraudsters have been able to get hold of peoples personal details, however they have urged people who already own timeshares to be extra vigilant as they are more likely to be singled out and targeted.
Police have issued the warning after a number of complaints were made by members of the public, stating that they were contacted out of the blue and invited to attend a presentation and they would receive a free gift in return. People who attended the presentations were then held for hours on end and pressured into signing contracts there and then. People who attended the presentations were being sold timeshares in properties that did not exist and made to pay large upfront fees before the sales could go through.
Timeshare owners are particularly vulnerable to these sorts of scams as fraudsters are aware of the victim’s personal details from previous investments which gives them false credibility. Because of this often victims are persuaded to part with large amounts of money which is then hard to trace and virtually no chance of getting back once the sale has gone through.
Greater Manchester Police issued the following tips to protect yourself against this type of fraud:
- Be very wary of letters, phone calls or emails from companies you do not know offering you business deals out of the blue
- If you are contacted by phone, do not continue the conversation
- Do not pass on confidential information to people or companies who say you have been chosen especially, or that you have won something
- Never make investments without thorough research. Check into the company and ask for several references
- Never agree to anything on the spot. Refuse to sign anything there and then. Take the documentation home with you and sleep on it
- Make sure a lawyer reads the contract before you sign it. Make a note of all the verbal promises you were given and ensure they are in the contract. If they are not, refuse to sign
- Ask about your cancellation rights and get them in writing
- Remember, you can always walk out of the presentation. No one can make you stay, no matter what the salespeople may try and tell you
- Think of buying a timeshare in the same way you would consider buying any other membership – is it worth the money? Research the market and discover the property values
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these types of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between. People who enter into timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with timeshare exit schemes.
Before agreeing to any timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with. If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a timeshare or a ‘holiday points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.