How to Protect Yourself from Timeshare Scams

Wherever a market exists, deceptive or fraudulent activity can also be present and the same is true for the timeshare industry. For this reason one of the key priorities of VOASA is to aid the protection of consumers and shared vacation owners when targeted by questionable companies operating on the fringe of the industry.

Unfortunately, there will always be companies that use fraudulent and dubious marketing tactics in an attempt to deceive consumers and timeshare owners for their own financial gain. These companies usually operate under the guise of being a legitimate timeshare resale company or travel club. As a result, the reputation of the industry suffers damage and VOASA members who operate legitimate businesses are impacted negatively.

All VOASA members must comply with the industry Code of Conduct and relevant law and regulations related to their business. Where applicable, this would include holding a current fidelity fund certificate from the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

While the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud is actively investigating consumer complaints and pursuing just course of action against such dubious companies, VOASA advises consumers to look out for these 5 common ‘red flags’ when buying or selling timeshare: –

  1. If you receive unsolicited calls or emails from a company regarding the sale of your timeshare or the elimination of maintenance fees;
  2. If an offer sounds too good to be true (it probably is);
  3. Promises to modify or cancel your timeshare contractual obligations;
  4. Any call or correspondence offering to transfer your paid-off ownership to another party;
  5. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of VOASA. VOASA does not perform any sales or resale services.

Always remember to only deal with accredited VOASA members, and this can be checked on the member’s directory at www.voasa.co.za or by calling (021) 975-9607 or emailing voasa@voasa.co.za