Open Season for Predators: Maintenance Bill Scams Increase

We have all heard of the “Glorious Twelfth”, the annual start to the Grouse hunting season in August, an event eagerly anticipated especially by chefs, it just so happens that it coincides with another event. The annual start to the “Maintenance Bill” season, which by all accounts seems to start earlier than before, usually with “pleas” of paying this now and you’ll get a discount.

These bills now appearing on door mats and emails are the starting signal for the “scammers” to begin their own hunting season, the prize is not Grouse for the chef but your money to embellish the lifestyles of the “fraudsters”.

The main scam here is the “exit & claims” which AIT has so often highlighted, the main “scare” tactic here is “rising costs”. Our regular readers have already informed us of “cold calls” regarding this, it would seem the current “financial” problems are the excuse this time. Admittedly, with the current rise in prices businesses face, it is to be expected the developers will “raise their maintenance”, an opportunity we don’t expect them to miss.

It is the “pitch” that is being used, “maintenance fees are going to rise way above the rate of inflation”, to many elderly owners this is a frightening prospect. They can’t afford the current maintenance fees.

Couple this with the promise of “getting back” your money with a claim, which adds to the temptation of going ahead, paying for an “exit” and then claiming “compensation”. Along with the projections from the “Consultants”, you are going to be in for at least double what you paid. The claim will usually be offered on a “no win no fee” basis, but the “exit” must be done first. The start of a very expensive experience, briefly highlighted in “A Legalised Scam?

For those who “legally” exited their timeshare through their resort in some cases many years ago, who also have “written” confirmation directly from their timeshare company, it is another story.

This particular “scam” is on the rise, and it involves some very convincing “lies”, it is a story we recently covered in “Timeshare Scams Unveiled”, and our friends at the TCA are also covering this “scam” with their article “A scam reaching pandemic levels”. Their article goes into a little more detail on the “scam” and how convincing they can be.

Along with the original letter from the resort confirming “termination” of membership and any further “liability” for maintenance fees, they also received the email below. Please notice the dates and the most telling part of all, the last line: “Please do not listen to them they only want your money”.

Courtesy of TCA

Apparently, it was a very hard job to convince this consumer he was being scammed, even with the evidence. It just shows how convincing they are.

Now we move to the part where they already know you have ended your contract, possibly years before. So how do they know?

Over the years you have all received the “cold call” about your timeshare, you tend to get involved in a conversation, that is the “openers” job, to get you talking. They are the ones who come across as really friendly and nice people, they probably are, many may believe they are working for a legitimate company.

The first question is usually “do you still own a timeshare?” if you do, you begin to fill in the details to their questions, if you are already out of your timeshare you tell them. This is usually greeted by “that’s good, no more maintenance” or some other platitude. You may be asked how you did it but the main damage has already been done.

On all the systems used to record the “cold call,” there will be different categories, not interested, never owned and “RELINQUISHED”, in other words no longer an owner.

Do you think that this category of “potential clients” is going to be deleted, think again?

All those “no longer owners” leads will be placed on another list for future use, (and probably sold to a start-up mug). This future use just happens to be now.

As we have said before, the information you give on a “cold call” improves the information available to the “scammer”. They are then able to tailor and develop their “scam” to suit the “callers list” accordingly.

Tomorrow we end the week with another unbelievable story from our friends across The Great Lake, if Hollywood were to turn it into a movie, we already have a suggestion for the actor to play the leading part. So join us tomorrow for Irene Parker and “Sales Agent Sues Diamond Resorts – Alleging he was Required to Pitch Renting – Wyndham Sues Same Agent – for Renting!


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