Scams have become a fact of life, from the “bogus” text message from the tax authorities or for the payment for a parcel delivery, “Spam” emails and not to forget the ubiquitous “cold call.” According to reports from consumer associations in the UK one scam that is becoming more evident is on Facebook Market Place, with sellers being targeted by false purchasers.
The biggest problem is identifying them before it is too late.
Below is the definition of the word “Scam” from the Cambridge Dictionary.
an illegal plan for making money, especially one that involves tricking people:
Banks often carry information about e-mail scams on their websites.
To avoid scams, never sign things in a hurry.
an insurance scam
to trick someone into giving you money, usually in an illegal way:
He was scammed out of $500 in what he thought was a legitimate way to get US immigration papers.
They totally scammed us!
scam American Dictionary
a dishonest or illegal plan or activity, esp. one for making money:
She was involved in an insurance scam, collecting on false accident claims.
(Definition of scam from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
scam Business English
an illegal way of making money, usually by tricking people:
The police are warning of a repeated phone scam that targets tax payers.
an internet scam
The US definition includes the word “dishonest” as well as illegal, a word that is rather significant and will be explained further down, first, we have a look at “cold calls.”
For timeshare owners who have been around for a while, these have also become part and parcel of timeshare ownership, from the enquiries we receive and the posts on social media the largest sector on both sides of the Great Lake, appears to be “timeshare cancellation” and in the UK the bonus of making a “claim” on a “no win no fee” basis. Only if you pay for the “exit” first, and we all know that the “exit” will never be done. As for the claim, well you would have been better off doing that yourself.
Even if you explain to the caller that you are out of your timeshare, they will sow the seed of doubt that you are not. One tactic is to say that your membership has only been “suspended”, you are still liable for the maintenance and any arrears.
Another tactic is to say that your club is going bust, this is the latest from yet another “bogus” operation calling themselves Midland Compliance Board, with the telephone number 0121 630 519. According to their “representative” Vacation Club Management Services (VCMS), is going “bust”.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth, VCMS, replaced the Liquidated Azure Services, this ensured members did not lose out, the About us on their website states:
Vacation Club Management Services Company Ltd (VCMS) is the service arm of Vacation Club Services LTD (VCSL), an independent Vacation Club Manager set up in the Summer of 2020 to take over the three vacation clubs based at their home resort, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands.
VCSL was set up by UK-based company, First National Trustee Company Limited (FNTC), to take over the overall management of the vacation clubs on behalf of the members. VCSL went on to establish a fully owned subsidiary in Malta called VCMS Company Ltd to employ staff in Malta to provide services to club members and to manage the clubs on a day-to-day basis.
I very much suspect that if VCMS was going bust, surely FNTC would probably be the first to inform members.
This “bogus” caller is actually very easy to identify as a scam, just by doing a search on the internet, not one single company comes up which could be them, there is no company registered at company house.
Google search for Midland Compliance Board
Our next example is from the US, many UK and EU readers will recognise this one, it smells of the old “discount holiday club” scam. These invited you to hand over your timeshare for membership to their club, apparently, this is the only way to “cancel” your timeshare as our European readers will testify, the timeshare was never cancelled, and they became liable for years of arrears.
This particular advert appeared on the Fb page Timeshare Cancellation Information, a page with a reputation as a scammer’s paradise.
Cancel your timeshare today with World Hilton Head Island – World Travel Club 365!
Here at World Travel Club 365 we know how stressful timeshares can be along with the hardships it can create. When you cancel your timeshare through us we are offering you a FREE 7 Night Resort Getaway for a family up to 4 guest! – No timeshare or sales presentation required
Let us get you away from your timeshare and then put your mind at ease with a FREE 7 day vacation with over 3,000 locations.
Offer Valid Through 04/24/23-05/24/23
Many of our US friends have informed us that World Travel Club 365 is known to them, and we concur they look like a scam operation, the website is to say the least looking very suspicious.
Now what gets my attention immediately is the FREE 7 night stay and there is NO timeshare or sales presentation.
Alarm bells rang straight away, how are they giving away “FREE” stays at a resort without a sales presentation, sorry, that does not make any sense, it’s one of those “it’s too good to be true” things.
We leave you to make up your own minds on that one, now let us move on to the US definition which also included the word “dishonest.”
With all the articles that AIT has published on how timeshare is sold, not just at the initial purchase but also for the never-ending “upgrades” the word dishonest is very appropriate.
In all the testimonies we have published including those of the whistle-blowers, the lies told by the sales agents is well documented and so is the standard reply from their employers, “We are not responsible for what our sales agent say”.
So, a sales agent can email a member with this invitation:
I’m with Hilton Grand Vacations corporate office. I was assigned to your account as we approach the much-anticipated launch of HGV Max and we wanted to make sure you have opted in and registered your account so that you may enjoy all the benefits Hilton Grand Vacation Max has to offer such as:
- Rolling points over and never expiring,
- Using 100% points on airfare, car rentals and cruises all year long,
- 3,000 more luxury homes in 100 countries,
- Use of the wonderful high-end luxury Hilton Resorts,
- Use points at over 6,800+ Hilton Hotels and no resort fees.
Without doing so you will not be able to access any of the above benefits, so we will need to set up a phone call at your earliest convenience to assist you with this.
How much of this is true, we doubt very much that any of it is, the tell-tale sign is the last sentence, a good example of “dishonest”.
So according to our definition and the US variant, timeshare sales agents that lie are being dishonest for the purpose of relieving you of your money, with the compliance of their bosses, which in turn makes them dishonest, the aim is to make money, so in Conclusion, the whole timeshare industry is a scam according to the definition of the word SCAM.