Getting smooth-talked into buying a timeshare after a free weekend stay at a resort condo is one thing. But consumers increasingly are being ripped off when they try to unload or get out of a vacation-related contract, as well.
The problem often starts when the annual maintenance fees inevitably skyrocket for timeshare owners. Many retirees who already are living on a fixed income say they cannot afford to dish out $800 to $1,500 a year for a timeshare that frankly they hardly ever use.
Sometimes, the consumer owns more than one timeshare so they're looking at even more money in fees.
Enter the scammers who roll out free dinners and slick slideshows to trick you into spending money on something else.
Paying up front
One Detroit area couple complained that they attended a presentation in Troy, Mich., for a company called The Transfer Group.
After a high-pressure sales pitch, the couple paid $14,000 upfront when they were convinced they needed help to get out of a timeshare, according to a complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau.
The couple thought they were handing over a fat five figures to dissolve three timeshare contracts within a year.
After a year went by, the man even ended up driving to Springfield, Mo., where the Transfer Group is located. Some issues were resolved but other headaches continued, according to the BBB.