Firstly, to set your mind at rest, if you are reading this article from your monthly Club Caribe newsletter, you can give a sigh of relief knowing that your membership provides (and will continue to provide) amazing vacation experiences for you and your family, and that you have avoided being involved in a vacation club or timeshare fraud. Club Caribe is a member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and its sales practices conform to the local and federal government regulations in Mexico.
Timeshare scams and Vacation Club Fraud
Most people assume that vacation club and timeshare fraud is restricted to fake timeshare sellers and dubious resale markets when the real dangers can arise even after you have purchased a genuine membership. There has been a spate of resurgent timeshare scams of late whereby even the happiest vacation club members have been targeted by “timeshare advocates” claiming to offer fraudulent services that include resale scams, cancellation scams and timeshare rental scams.
Fake Timeshare Consulting Advocates
Last month, ARDA released a scam alert (http://www.arda.org/advisories/) warning timeshare members to beware companies claiming to work on its behalf. In its advisory notice, the American Resort Development Association warned vacation club members to beware as: “Several timeshare owners are being contacted by a group of individuals using the company name of “Resort Consulting Advocates” claiming to have an interested buyer for the victim’s timeshare interest. They have created false contract of sale documents that include a “100% guarantee”, as well as claiming to being affiliated with ARDA in order to get owners to pay an upfront fee.”
Don’t be fooled by the name
Resort Consulting Advocates is just one company amongst a number of fraudsters that change company names frequently to avoid being brought to justice. You are advised to be very wary of any company that calls or emails you offering resale, rental or cancellation services. You can be pretty sure these companies are scams. You should be particularly wary if the company claims to be working on behalf of ARDA, Club Caribe, Tafer Hotel & Resorts or any of our associates as we do not endorse such services.
What can you do if you have been scammed?
If you feel that you have been part of a scam, please share details of the scam with us at Club Caribe so we may warn other members. You should also contact your local authorities and the state attorney general to file a report, and may choose to make a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
Final word of advice
Thoroughly research any company before paying any upfront fees for rental services or resale assistance. Most commonly, companies asking for upfront fees are scams. If in doubt, call Members Services: 1-866-668-9261