Jan. 20, 2012 – Timeshare resale scams are some of the most common business and consumer frauds out there, claiming thousands of victims and millions of dollars each year. However, many people assume these scams are carried out by fraudulent timeshare resale companies, but this is unfortunately not always the case.
Recently, a timeshare resale scam was exposed involving the sale of a unit at Sun City Vacation Club, a popular resort located in Sun City, South Africa. A man was listing the sale of his time in a unit at this resort around the holiday time last month. Another man purchased the unit for R$18,000 (about $2,200 USD). He had no reason to suspect any foul play, because the resort confirmed his reservation. However, a week before he was supposed to leave for his vacation he received a notification that there had been a problem because someone else also owned the same time for the same unit because the owner sold the same unit to multiple people.
Collectively, at least five people lost R$100,000 ($12,000 USD) on the scam. Sun City Vacation Club has launched a full investigation into the issue, but the man responsible for the scam has yet to be contacted or found.
This is a fine example of how people buying and selling timeshares should not assume that resale companies are always the culprits. When there is a market available to make some money, scammers will always find a way to take advantage. In this case, an individual preyed upon people interested in an inexpensive vacation option.
The best way to avoid scams of all types is to work with an experienced and reputable professional. Take the time to research people and companies before you do business with them and only work with those that have a solid track record of providing exceptional service. Timeshare sales and resale scams may be some of the most common business frauds out there, but by only dealing with trusted professionals you can effectively avoid putting yourself in these precarious (and costly) positions.