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Your 2012 Scambusters Update

Good News

During recent months the number of owners who have reported unwanted solicitations regarding “listing” their timeshare for sale or rental has dropped significantly. Even better news — most owners who report being contacted did not make any payments but are simply advising us of the unwanted contact. However, while fewer owners are falling victim, these dishonest individuals and companies are still in business. So, as always, we urge you to be wary of calls and other communications from non-Wyndham companies promising financial benefits regarding your vacation ownership interest.

Knowledge is Power

One of the more prevalent scams currently being reported to us is a caller stating that they are following up on a complaint the owner has filed with Wyndham and that they can help the owner get out of their contract. Please be advised that Wyndham NEVER shares your contact information, let alone the resolution of a problem, with a third party. In this situation, the caller is bluffing — they have no information — just empty promises that they can help you cancel your Wyndham contract. We have initiated lawsuits against a number of these entities.

Another common resale scam is when the caller indicates they already have a buyer waiting for the owner’s timeshare contract — without the owner ever having listed it for sale! Rather than charging an upfront listing fee, they charge a significant “legal” or “processing” fee — usually several thousand dollars. The resale prices quoted are highly inflated and they may even identify a purchaser by name. However, there often is no buyer. (They frequently use fake names.) Owners who have paid this fee, not knowing there is no buyer, usually cannot get their money back.

Some rental scammers claim they can rent timeshare units to attendees of conventions in locations such as Orlando and Las Vegas. Their websites even display calendars of large conventions coming to these towns. We are not aware of any of our owners who have successfully rented their units for this purpose using these companies.

Owners with paid-off loans have also reported that they are being offered to “transfer” (as opposed to “sell”) their ownership, but are required to pay a “transfer” or “processing” fee. However, the “transfer fee” (as opposed to the listing fee) is frequently very high — again, usually several thousand dollars!

While many of the unscrupulous companies are no longer in business, some have simply changed their name (and website address) and are operating out of the same physical location with the same phone number as before.

Caution Ahead

Please remember, if you are contacted by a non-Wyndham company with an offer regarding your ownership that sounds too good to be true (it likely is) or you are being asked to pay an up-front fee for a “service,” proceed with extreme caution!

As a reminder, Wyndham does not sell or provide owner information to non-Wyndham companies. We strongly recommend that you always confirm that you are speaking with a Wyndham representative before engaging in any dialogue about your ownership.

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