A couple from the US were supposed to be enjoying their dream honeymoon, but say it turned into a nightmare when they were tricked into attending a timeshare presentation.

It all started when the couple were visiting Florida earlier this year on their honeymoon, they had only planned to stay one night before heading to their Cruise the following day. However, before they could get to the hotel, they were forced into attending a timeshare presentation.

The couple say they then had to sit through a long high pressured sales presentation, and although they told the reps they couldn’t afford a timeshare, ended up leaving with one anyway. It was only when the couple returned from their honeymoon and discussed it with their families, they realised what they had signed up for.

The timeshare sales reps did explain to the couple that they had a 10 day cancellation period, which the couple say they started as soon as they got home. They did exactly as the company had asked but nothing happened. They tried for several days to get in touch with the resort but were met with constant obstacles and less than helpful staff.

The couple have now enlisted the help of a lawyer, but are less than hopeful they will get any of the $12,000 back from the resort. They want to warn others who are thinking of attending a timeshare presentation to look at the fine print, as the sales reps will try to hide this from you. This also means timeshare owners are not fully aware of what they have signed up for, and often leave presentations ready to enjoy the rest of their vacations convinced they have made a sound purchase. For most it’s only when they return home that the true reality of what they have been convinced to sign sinks in and by that time the cooling off period is over.

Timeshare owners duped twice.

Unfortunately the way in which the timeshare industry operates and does not offer any plausible exit to their customers, has made it possible for timeshare fraudsters to operate. These fraudsters will purchase illegally obtained personal information about their victims, including details of their timeshare, which gives them some credibility when they are dealing with desperate owners.

They will claim that for a small fee they can get you out of your timeshare, but as the scam progresses the fraudsters will keep asking for money. Timeshare Fraud accounted for more than £7 million in the UK alone last year, as reported by Action Fraud. The reporting service say the average loss to a victim is £14,000.

Action Fraud offer the following advice to timeshare owners:

  • Always check the details of the organisation or company contacting you, such as the website, address and phone number, are correct as the fraudster may be posing as a legitimate company.
  • Challenge or ignore any calls, letters or emails from people you don’t know or companies you haven’t contacted yourself.
  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls, it is now illegal to cold-call people unless they have your specific consent to do so, if in doubt, hang up.
  • Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website, the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable.
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