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Missouri Attorney General Offers Tips To Avoid Timeshare Scams

timeshare

Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, has joined in with Attorney Generals from around the U.S. to combat time share buying scams.  According to Koster, deceptive timeshare resellers will often falsely claim to have buyers or renters in place who are ready to pay top dollar for consumers’ timeshare properties.  The scamming companies ask timeshare owners to pay hefty up-front fees and do nothing in turn.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office offers the following tips to avoid becoming the victim of a timeshare scam:

Timeshare resale

  • Beware of unsolicited calls claiming to have a buyer for your timeshare, or offering to advertise your property for sale.
  • Deal only with licensed real estate brokers or agents.  For unsolicited offers, take steps to verify that the individual contacting you is in fact the broker or agent that the person purports to be.  Be mindful that scam artists might impersonate legitimate, licensed brokers and agents.
  • Interview several resale agencies before signing an agreement.
  • Never pay an up-front fee.
  • Check the company’s history of complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office before agreeing to do business with them.

Vacation Timeshares

  • Avoid high-pressure sales tactics. If the salesperson is overly aggressive, reconsider.
  • Do not sign a contract or any documents at the presentation. Take the paperwork and review it carefully after the pitch.
  • If signing a contract at the time of the pitch, insist on taking a copy of the contract with you. Do not let the business send it later.
  • Ask to talk with other owners of the timeshare as references.
  • Check the company’s complaint records with the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office.
  • Always read the fine print.

Additional tips for avoiding travel scams are available on the Missouri Attorney General’s website at:http://ago.mo.gov/publications/travelscams.htm and from the Federal Trade Commission: ftc.gov/travel.

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