Travel Tips

Travel Tip: The Worst Timeshare Presentation Scams

I’ve heard of too many people getting hosed by the high-pressure sales pitch known as a timeshare presentation. So here’s my handy list of red-flag phrases that you should definitely be aware of. timeshare house

It’s a no-brainer that anyone asking for cash upfront is a scammer. But smart con artists will ask for a money order or wire transfer. Then you have little to no recourse if something goes wrong.

There’s even a new scheme where companies that seem legit get people to wire money into Mexican accounts…and then disappear forever.

If an agent tells you that demand is higher than inventory available, it’s a tactic to get you to sign quickly. Don’t.

Maintenance fees: Those costs can go up…fast.  Make sure there’s a cap on how much your maintenance fees can increase.

Before attending any presentation, know the lingo. There are terms like “fixed” or “floating,” “fractional ownership” or “points-based plans” that make a huge difference in the product you’re getting.

I’m not saying timeshares are a bad deal. For some people they really work. But it’s up to you to educate yourself—and protect yourself—before agreeing to any major investment.

For more information, visit the Money, Currency & Credit archives.

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