Protect Yourself From Fraud
*Owners at Plantation Resort will soon be seeing this article in the annual newsletter. We felt that it was too important to wait, so we are also publishing it here on the blog.
An owner recently reported that a group claiming to be affiliated with Plantation Resort has been attempting to sell fraudulent vacation packages to our owners. They call and invite our owners to dinner at a local restaurant. Offering a consultation, the imposters convince them to purchase a “vacation package.” The imposters then take the money and disappear. Our owners never hear anything about their vacation package again.
In other instances, scammers have called our owners, offering to sell their timeshare for them. They ask for money to put ads on websites, often called a “marketing fee.” Then the scammers take the money and make the owner believe that their timeshare was sold. Many of our owners have been confused when they continue to receive correspondence from us after they were told that their timeshare had been sold to someone else.
Most recently we discovered a ploy to change owners’ contact information. The scammer read off the information on the owner’s account to the Owner Services representative, then they ask to change the phone number, email and home address. When we figured out what they were doing, we called the phone numbers and were met with resistance. It is unclear as of yet, what the motives are in changing this information. We have since contacted the police, who are working to uncover who is behind these attacks. In the meantime we are tracking the accounts that were targeted and we urge you to protect your personal information by keeping it in a safe and secure location.
We continue to warn against giving money up-front to anyone claiming to be able to sell your timeshare for you. This is true now more than ever. There are legitimate businesses that will sell your timeshare, but they will not ask for money up-front. Because a deed is involved, selling timeshare with one of these companies is like selling your house with a realtor. You do not pay until the property is sold.
Here are some helpful tips if you think you are dealing with an imposter:
- If someone asks for money up-front, hang up.
- If someone claims to be with Plantation Resort, call us. We will confirm whether the offer you received is legitimate or not.
- Do your research before paying any fees. You can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or by visiting www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
If you or anyone you know is involved with a deal that seems suspicious, please contact our Owner Services Department at 1-855-230-1877 and the Better Business Bureau so that we can warn other owners, saving them from becoming the next victims.