It is the middle of January, and the glamor of the holiday season is over. Every day it seems that there is more slushy, mucky brown snow to be shoveled away from your house, and one more treacherous patch of ice for you to slip on and hobble back to your car with a bruised hip. The sky is always gray and your kids are always complaining that they are cold, but can’t seem to keep their winter coats on. April, May, Easter, and the dawn of a much welcomed spring still seem so far away. You are just thinking of how much you wish you could pack up your troops and get away to somewhere warm for a week, but your tropical timeshare is sitting unused because it is impossible to get coinciding time off of school, work, and other activities. On top of that, the time share cost that you are paying is rapidly becoming an inconvenience.

Now you are probably thinking, “Can I cancel a timeshare contract?”
What exactly is a timeshare, anyway, and how can you back out of one without being scammed out of your money??

A timeshare is when several people arrange a joint ownership of a vacation property and come up with an agreement to share the time there; for example, four families may all own equal timeshares on a cabin by a lake, and each family gets one designated week of the month when they are allowed to be there. Unfortunately, there are just as many timeshare scams out there as there are charity frauds and IRS fakers. This makes the process to get out of a timeshare not so easy.

Here are the red flags that point to a timeshare scam.

If you are trying to cancel a timeshare, be aware of people who approach you randomly. If a strange timeshare redemption, rental, or resale company contacts you out of complete left field, be careful, especially if the offer seems even a bit too good to be true.

Be on the lookout for inconsistencies in a company if you are trying to use one to back out of your time share cost. A famous cracked case of a fake timeshare redemption company by Forbes described how the company claimed to be located on the 23rd floor of an office building in Illinois that was only nine stories tall. Do your research on a company, cross reference them, and do not move forward until you are confident that they are legitimate.

Keep your money closed in a tight fist. Although your time share costs may be bringing hardship onto you financially, letting your money fly out of your hands and into those of a scammer will not do you any good. Hesitate when a timeshare redemption company or timeshare resaler wants you to wire money or mail cash to them. Here are three big warning signs when it comes to sending cash: be careful if the company wants you to send a large sum that seems too big; if you are being asked to send money abroad; and if you are being asked for a payment of which cancelation or recovery is impossible, like cash, direct deposit or money order.

The best way to avoid a timeshare is to take a traditional vacation, such as luxury custom tours. Luxury custom tours, like cruises or chauffeur tours, are all inclusive and organized vacations that are low risk compared to time shares. Before you invest money in a time share, consider traditional luxury custom tours.

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