How the Timeshare Industry Is Fighting Fraud
What your resort can do to prevent reseller fraud.
The vacation ownership industry is taking a stand against reseller fraud, a scheme in which a fake solicitor offers to take over the terms of a timeshare owner’s contract for a fee without actually doing so. “Fraud negatively impacts timeshare owners and owners’ associations, as well as takes credibility away from an industry that provides vacations to millions of satisfied timeshare owners every year,” says Robert Clements, vice president of regulatory affairs at the American Resort Development Association (ARDA).
ARDA and ARDA-Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC) are spearheading the fight against reseller fraud by advocating transfer and resale legislation and providing consumers with proper protections. To date, ARDA and ARDA-ROC have helped pass or supported resale and transfer legislation in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
Resorts can do their part by communicating with their owners. “We encourage resorts to educate their owners on ways to avoid resale scams by teaching them how to identify the red flags and warning signs of a scam,” Clements says. These signs include unsolicited contact by a person or company regarding the sale of a timeshare or the elimination of maintenance fees; any call or mail offering to transfer paid-off ownership to another party; or a call from someone claiming to be an ARDA representative. ARDA and ARDA-ROC do not make unsolicited owner calls or perform resale services.
“Educate owners to always contact their resort first regarding their specific situation and potential ways they can exit their ownership,” Clements says. Resorts should continue to inform their owners of these red flags and advise owners to report potential scam artists to the appropriate enforcement agency, such as their state attorney general or consumer protection agency.
For more information on resale fraud and to stay up-to-date on how ARDA and ARDA-ROC are defending owners, visit ARDA-ROC.org.
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