Mexico Timeshare Fraud Rip Off ~ Consumer Travel Alert.
Unfortunately when we travel we tend to let down our barriers, ignore common sense, tend to be too trusting and this is what many of these timeshare scams/rip-off take advantage of. A second point is that foreign countries tend not to have the same laws as in the USA, Canada and Europe and this is another advantage that the ‘bad’ timeshare groups take advantage of. Another alarming statistic is that these timeshare scams are becoming more prolific and you are beginning to find them in many countries such as Mexico, Caribbean Island, Bahama Islands, Costa Rica and other Central American countries. Simple Google “Your destination Timeshare scam” (i.e. “Country/Destination/resort name Timeshare scam”).
Note there are many good and well managed timeshare groups out there in the USA and internationally so…..
If you do want to purchase a timeshare do your research, homework before you go on vacation!!! If you really want to buy a time share check out one of the many USA websites that re-sells timeshares usually at much lower costs with savings up to 50% to 90% of original price.(such as Tug2.net, Redweek.com, timeshare-resale.com, tugbbs.com, interval forum, RCI forum, TripAdvisor forum).
If you are not planning to purchase a timeshare just say “NO” to anyone who approaches you!!!
Here are some pitches you will hear to entice you:-
- Offer of free breakfast to do a 90 minute to 2 hour tour, guarantee you that your tour will be more like 4 to 6 hours. DO NOT give them money to reserve your space.
- When renting a car, at the airport, on a tour do not fall for any timeshare visits, you will be offered free sightseeing tours, free dinners, free rides, even $50 or $100 just to do the tour…. This is a big red flag.
- Trade In – Trade Up. They will promise you that they can sell your timeshare for XX amount of dollars and then you can trade up to theirs. They will guarantee that they can sell your timeshare, they will give you an evaluation report on your existing timeshare which is really just a bunch of made up number with a website but remember anyone can put up a website that does not guarantee that your timeshare will be sold.
- We are not a timeshare, but a “non time share unit”, “private share resort”, “member only resort”, etc.
- Bait & Switch. You buy 4 weeks and for the next 10 years you will get 2 additional free weeks. Actually read the contracts and what ends up happening is that you bought 2 weeks with 4 additional free weeks only good for 10 years plus to use those weeks there is a extremely high service charge. You be better off renting a hotel or house for less money.
You are not in the USA, Canada or Europe and so the same laws are not there to protect the consumer. Basically the sales staff can tell you anything they like to but if it is not written into the contract then it means nothing. Here are just a few of the many pitches you will hear:-
- You can rent your unit and make money. First of all most timeshares do not offer that service, second if they do they will most likely charge you an upfront fee, a huge percentage of the rental usually way way over 50% and on top of that cleaning, maintenance, tax, service fees. Renting timeshares is not a money making business.
- You can have your pick of any unit with ocean view, pool view, golf view, just call in advance….99% false.
- Be aware of name dropping, famous people staying or such statements as “The new golf course is designed by famous person such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods“.
- Every 10 years the resort does a total renovation of each unit.
- They bought more beachfront or they are building in new high end areas such as Hawaii, California, etc.
- If they tell you that only today they can give you this offer then do not just walk out but RUN OUT.
In Mexico about 17% of the sale goes to the government; this is a big cash infusion for the government so do not expect much help from them. They do have an agency that provides information to help you but that is it ~ basically just to provide information, the agency is called PROFECO (http://www.profeco.gob.mx/english.htm). You can place complaints but then again being a government agency could take a very very long time to get anything accomplished. These timeshare scams have been operating for decades and are expanding.
If you have bought or are planning to buy here are a few useful websites to help you:-
~ Take your time when purchasing a timeshare brochure.
~ For more information on how to cancel a timeshare purchase go to:-
~ Your rights when buying a timeshare.
~ You have 5 days to cancel your purchase by Mexican Law and you must do it in writing mailed by secured signed delivery such as Signed Return Receipt With Tracking by Postal Mexicano, UPS, and DHL. E-mails, faxes and calling will not be legally binding. For more information see these links:-
***Caution ~ Do not return to the scene of the crime, these people are masters of intimidation and they will become aggressive, rude, confuse you and even at times become physical (just read the complaints file on the internet).
~ Contact the above three websites for information.
~ Google ~ Mexican Timeshare Fraud Attorneys Lawyers.
Finally for the really bad and ugly of Mexican timeshare reviews visit this website that actually ranks the worst of the worst.
The Mexican Timeshare Black List: -
Buyers and Sellers wanting to work with a licensed Realtor® with integrity and experience in Fairfield County, Connecticut contact David Popoff at DMK Real Estate in Darien, Ct.