Vacations demand planning. Be it finances, traveling, hotel stay, or timeshare properties. Having pre-booked jointly shared estates comes in handy in the form of a timeshare. You can visit your favorite spot without fear of having no place to stay, as sometimes happens with hotels or other resorts. ‘Having a timeshare property concept’ has been blossoming in the Mexican region, including Puerto Vallarta, for many years.
Owning a timeshare, especially one in Mexico, can lead you to a scam that you suffer for multiple years once you become a victim. Such hoaxes truly harm people struggling to pay their yearly maintenance fees. Timeshare scams in Puerto Vallarta are also a topic worthy of exploration when it comes to timeshare estates.
About Puerto Vallarta
When you think of holidays in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta comes to mind. It’s a resort town in Jalisco state on Mexico’s Pacific coast. It is known for its sandy beaches, water sports, and famous nightlife scene. Boutique shops, multiple varieties of restaurants and bars, you name it. This place has it all. El Malecón can’t be forgotten here with its modern sculptures, bars, lounges, and bustling nightlife clubs. No wonder people flock toward it.
Timeshare Scams in Puerto Vallarta
In the 1990s, timeshare scams were more frequent in Mexico and worldwide. There remains a wariness, though such scams are less common nowadays. But one or two scams still crop up in Mexico and Puerto Vallarta from time to time, making this cautiousness justifiable.
- Recent years have brought many safeties against being scammed. Better security protocols have been implemented in the timeshare industry, making it much safer for people to invest.
- Now, timeshare companies can no longer promote their timeshares randomly. First, they need to get permission from the local authorities. The authorities then check their authenticity before allowing them to work publicly.
So, if a timeshare promoter contacts you, you can quickly check whether or not they’re legit. Just inquire about their officially issued ID card.
General Timeshare Scams in Puerto Vallarta
It can get challenging to keep abreast of the latest scams as so many new ways emerge of robbing an individual of their hard-earned money. All these are only scams; they can’t sell your timeshare property for you.
What may the fraudulent callers generally do?
Let’s see some main timeshare scam themes below:
- The Promise of paying a significant sum to a timeshare owner for their estate.
- The Claim is that you have a right to value shares of stock regarding your timeshare, which can be liquidated in exchange for an upfront commission fee.
- Getting official-looking documents, such as contracts and title paperwork.
- Referring you as a timeshare owner or prospective buyer to convincing websites. These websites mimic the websites of genuine companies but contain false information.
- Filing fraudulent documents with the relevant officials and even registering under false names.
- Posing as stock brokers. Such scammers may further assume the identities of actually registered brokers without their knowledge and consent.
Tips for Avoiding Being a Victim in a Timeshare Scam
What can you do as a timeshare owner in Puerto Vallarta to protect yourself from possible cons?
This is the question of the hour. Some leading investigative agencies have offered these suggestions for safeguarding against scammers. These are as follows:
- Always be highly suspicious of unsolicited offers regarding your timeshare, particularly those that seem “too good to be true.”
- Contact your timeshare resort manager or developer, who may be aware of a new or ongoing scam.
- Be extremely cautious if anyone requests that you pay money up-front to obtain funds or property to which they claim you are entitled. Additionally, don’t trust any request to wire money in connection with your timeshare.
- Keep a lookout for high-pressure tactics, often indicative of a scam.
- If the person you are doing business with is new to you and unknown, be extremely cautious and do extensive due diligence.
- If someone offers you investment products or services, check whether they are registered with the SEC by using the search function on Investor.gov.
- Be aware that scammers may be far from where they pretend to operate. They may use technology to make it appear that they are calling from an entirely different location.
- Hire your lawyer to review real estate transactions and contracts linked with your timeshare. Avoid hiring lawyers recommended by third parties who make unsolicited offers, as they may not be impartial or sincere to your interests.
Stop Paying the Maintenance Fees as Owner
What can you do when you are stuck with an unwanted timeshare in Puerto Vallarta? And the yearly maintenance fee payment becomes a real drain on your finances.
There are some possibilities.
- Get the Timeshare Company to take it back.
- Rent it out.
- Hire someone to get you out of it.
But suppose you are still stuck in the situation. In that case, you may heed the advice of Eric Olsen, founder of HELPS and a lawyer with above 40 years of experience. Here, HELPS is a nonprofit legal venture helping seniors with debt they cannot pay due to affordability issues.
Olsen mentions that he couldn’t remember a situation where a client got sued for non-payment of a timeshare maintenance fee. Timeshare companies generally never sue. The missed payments don’t even appear on a credit report. Moreover, he observed that some law firms were announcing to help someone get out of a timeshare. But most of these companies were essentially scams to one extent or another.
His ultimate advice was to leave the timeshare, which carries no value. The thing to do is to stop paying and ignore your timeshare manager’s communications. It will eventually get foreclosed.
The key to avoiding timeshare scams in Puerto Vallarta is to take it easy. When seriously considering a timeshare, don’t rush into it and research thoroughly. Double-check your budget and think about whether you need a timeshare property. If you don’t go for holidays much or have a low budget for a timeshare, it’s better to stick with one-time trips to resorts or camps. Timeshare properties in Puerto Vallarta or other parts of the globe might not be the right strategy for your vacation needs.
Don’t sign blindly if you decide to go for a timeshare property. Look into the timeshare company you are considering working with to check if their previous clients are happy.