Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Avoid the Villa Group Timeshare

Avoid the Villa Group Timeshare

Have you been warned to stay away from the Villa Group? Perhaps you have been told that this timeshare company is not ethical, or that it is an outright scam… Here is all you need to know if you have been told to avoid the Villa Group timeshare.

Have you need told to avoid the Villa Group timeshare?

If you have, we would be willing to bet that you have found this “information” on a site hosted by those who claim to be able to offer cancellation services. Perhaps you are doing some research before buying a timeshare, or you have recently bought a Villa Group timeshare; in either case you will find all that you need to know right here.

Should you avoid the Villa Group timeshare?

First things first; there is no need for you to avoid the Villa Group as a timeshare provider. On the contrary, the Villa Group is one of the most reputable and well-reviewed companies in Mexico. If you really want to spend your vacations in Mexico on a regular basis, you might consider what the Villa Group has to offer, just as you would any other reputable hospitality chain.

The Villa Group timeshare

The Villa Group is a longstanding and respected hospitality company with more than 30 years experience in this business. A timeshare membership with the Villa Group today is a far cry from the traditional fixed week memberships of old; nowadays, these memberships are wholly flexible, and are designed for people who want to get the very best from their vacations. The official name for the Villa Group’s current timeshare program is “Villa Preferred Access” with a membership named “Club Caribe” available when you purchase timeshare at Villa del Palmar Cancun. Both of these memberships allow for ultimate flexibility by using a points based system which enables members to ensure their vacations are always tailored to their needs and desires.

Where can you stay with a Villa Group timeshare?

When you have a Villa Group timeshare membership you can stay in top locations across Mexico; Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Cancun, Cabo san Lucas, and the islands of Loreto are just some of the destinations open to you.

Who claims you should avoid the Villa Group timeshare? 

If you search online for reviews of the Villa Group timeshare you will certainly find plenty of positive Villa Group timeshare reviews (including some video testimonials) from happy members. Amongst the genuine Villa Group timeshare reviews, you might also find a couple of comments left by people sharing a not-so-great experience, in which case, take a look at the way the Villa Group resolves those issues. Unfortunately, you will also find a number of fraudulent timeshare reviews saying you should avoid the Villa Group timeshare (and other reputable timeshare companies—no timeshare company is safe) that have been strategically placed by cancellation scammers looking to get your time, attention, and (of course) your money.

You can usually tell which reviews are scams by simply copying and pasting the comment to see if it is repeated in various forums and pages.  You will often find that cancellation scammers pretend to be genuine clients, saying the same thing about a variety of timeshare companies in order to promote their cancellation scams. In this case, the Villa Group timeshare is not the only target—all genuine timeshare companies are targeted by cancellation scammers.

How to avoid a timeshare scam?

If you want to avoid a scam at every stage of your timeshare experience you should, first and foremost, buy direct from a reputable dealer with 10 or more years in business, check out current members reviews, and go through the literature on the company’s website. Furthermore you should remember that resale and cancellation scams pose the most significant risk in many cases.

Cancellation scams are the easiest to spot because you cannot actually cancel your timeshare after you pass the rescission (or “cooling off”) period. If someone claims to be able to do this for you, in return for a fee, be very wary and do not wire them money. If you are within the rescission period still, you can cancel without their help so don’t let them fool you either way!

Resale scams are a little harder to spot, but you can put a few safeguards in place when you buy and sell on this market. First and foremost you should never ever pay upfront to an agent who is claiming to be able to sell your timeshare or sell you a timeshare. Double check the legitimacy and status of the membership (make sure there’s no debt on it) before you buy it, and attempt to deal with the seller as directly as possible.

So – what do you think? Should you really avoid the Villa group timeshare?

Monday, November 6, 2017

What happens if I stop paying for my timeshare?

What happens if I stop paying for my timeshare?

This is a common question you will find on various timeshare forums and complaint websites. Sometimes the question is posed by genuine clients looking to see what their options are, but often it is posted by timeshare cancellation scammers as a means of promoting their fake, (and often illegal) services. Here is some unbiased information about what can happen if your stop paying for your timeshare.

What happens if I stop paying for my timeshare?

If you find that you cannot make your repayments on your timeshare or keep up to date with your annual dues, the best thing you can do is inform yourself about what will happen if you forfeit on your timeshare payments. You may face risks to your credit rating and potential legal action.

Contact your timeshare company

Your first option should be to contact your timeshare provider to see if there is any program that will help you make your payments. Oftentimes, people think their only option is to stop paying for their timeshare and face the legal consequences. First speak to your timeshare provider.

The consequences if you stop paying for your timeshare

The consequences you face if you stop paying for your timeshare will vary depending upon your circumstances and how much you have left to pay on your timeshare loan. If you are behind on your maintenance fees, you will probably find that you can quickly get back on track and up-to-date once your finances improve. However, if you can’t make your loan repayments on a timeshare, you could be in for a rough ride and severe damage to your credit score.

Consequences of not paying your timeshare maintenance fees

Each timeshare company has its own policy, but most will assess delinquency fees followed by interest charges on the outstanding balance. These charges may accrue monthly or daily. In order to be able to use your timeshare, you have to be up to date with your payments. Therefore, the first consequence when you stop paying your timeshare maintenance fees is that you can no longer use your timeshare. If you start to pay your fees again after being delinquent, you will usually owe a reinstatement fee, too. Eventually, if you show no signs of paying your dues, your debt will be sold to a collection agency (more on this below).

Consequences of defaulting on your timeshare loan repayments

Defaulting on your timeshare loan repayments can have an even more detrimental effect. Did you know that you can risk foreclosure if you stop paying for your timeshare? It’s true. Just like if you stop paying your home loan or mortgage, if you stop paying for your timeshare, you will risk foreclosure. Also, if you used your credit card to purchase your timeshare, you will still be liable for those repayments. In both cases, if you fail to meet your payment obligations, you may face legal action. For example, timeshare companies can sue owners who stop paying for their timeshares.

Debt collection agencies

In many instances, your timeshare debt will be sold to a collection agency. Unfortunately, debt collection agencies are a great deal less friendly to work with than timeshare companies are--in fact, collection agencies are known for near-constant harassment. Furthermore, your default on payment may be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, which could complicate any future investments you’d like to make.

Your credit rating

Once your debt has been handed over to a collection agency, your credit rating is immediately compromised. If you stop paying for your timeshare, you can be sure that your credit rating will be negatively affected for at least a period of time, even if you are finally able to rectify the the situation and get back on track with your payments. This will make it difficult for you to get loans, financing, or credit in the future.

Beware timeshare cancellation scams

Another consequence of not paying for your timeshare is that you are likely to become vulnerable to timeshare cancellation scams as a means of avoiding a bad credit rating and having to keep up with payments. Unfortunately, unless you are within the cooling-off period directly following the purchase of your timeshare, there is no legal way to cancel your timeshare contract. Unfortunately, companies that market timeshare cancellation services will take your money for a service they cannot legitimately provide.

So, as you can see, there is no happy ending if you stop paying for your timeshare. Just like any big purchase, you have a responsibility to pay. If in doubt, contact your timeshare provider to see what your options are. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tech Support Scams

Tech Support Scams

Scammers find the most ingenious ways to target people these days. One such scam that has been around for a number of years, but which continues to catch people out, is the tech support scam. Find out more below…

Tech support scams

Tech support scams are a particular type of scam that uses malware (software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems) to trick unsuspecting victims. You are lured into contacting a fake support team, be it by telephone, message service or email.

Fake support staff

You are contacted by fake support staff who claim they have detected a problem with your computer or laptop. They might claim you have any number of problems from licensing issues, system errors or by displaying blank screens on your computer. The scam comes when they try to get you to pay them in order to fix the problems they claim you have with your computer. In more invasive scams, they may ask you to give them remote access to your computer in order to fix it, at which point your secure information is vulnerable.

Website hosted scams

The most common scams are those hosted on websites. You might be browsing information and suddenly see a pop-up message or your screen goes blank etc and you believe you have a computer virus. The trick comes when you see a message from Windows or Apple telling you there was a system error and to call a particular number. The number may be one that charges you a high fee for the call, or the tech support imposter will try to gain access to your computer or charge a fee to correct the problem.

What to do if you have already fallen foul of these kinds of scams according to Microsof[1] t:

     Turn off all remote management tools you may have, or better still, uninstall them.
     Clean your computer with an antivirus
     Make sure you have all of your updates, especially security updates.
     Change all of your passwords.
     Check with your credit card provider and report the scam.
     Be vigilant and watch for unusual activity
     Restore your computer to its previous state.

Have you been victim of a tech support scam? Share your experiences in the comments box.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Search for Garza Blanca Timeshare Reviews

Search for Garza Blanca Timeshare Reviews

If you are trying to differentiate between real and fake timeshare companies, try looking at customer reviews. With this in mind, this blog will give information of how to conduct your research for the top Garza Blanca timeshare reviews.

So, how do I get started with my Garza Blanca timeshare review research?

Right here on this website

First of all, this site is a good starting point for finding current customer reviews from people who have stayed at Garza Blanca Resorts as well as other reputation timeshare properties in Mexico. Some of the reviews are written, and some are in video form.  We also highly recommend Garza Blanca timeshare members comment on our site to give firsthand accounts of what these properties are like. Make it a habit to read all comments found here.

Garza Blanca timeshare reviews on Facebook

Facebook pages are a great place to find company reviews, and Garza Blanca has one full of member reviews.

Garza Blanca timeshare reviews on YouTube

Thanks to the vlogging trend, YouTube has become a reliable source for Garza Blanca timeshare reviews since the company uploads testimonials regularly on its YouTube channel. Independent reviews are also found on YouTube from people who would like to share their experiences. Please refer to this review example: (

Garza Blanca timeshare reviews on TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a website that can help you determine if a company is a scam.  If something’s not right about a company, you can bet people have spoken out about it.   Since anyone can comment on this site, you may get a few duds when it comes to negative reviews that actually may be retaliation from ex-employees. Make sure to read the comments thoroughly to determine if the complaint is legitimate or just an employee being spiteful.

For the most part, Garza Blanca timeshare reviews have been positive. Also, look at the date of the complaint because some issues could have been resolved since the time of the review—especially if it was posted years ago.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Timeshare Upgrades - Solution or scam?

Timeshare Upgrades - Solution or scam?

The topic of this week’s post is to discuss whether you should upgrade your timeshare membership in order to solve any usage problems you might be encountering with your vacation club. Some timeshare owners find that the level of their membership makes it difficult for them to enjoy their timeshare, forcing them to consider trying to cancel their timeshare (often falling foul to a scam). This article is dedicated to those people wanting clarity about timeshare upgrades.

I can’t use my timeshare, therefore it must be a scam!

Some of the complaints you will read on the internet about timeshare will focus on the fact that the person was sold a timeshare that he or she (seemingly) cannot use. Most of these cases relate to timeshare members who have bought the lowest level of membership at a resort, which limits them to only being able to make reservations in the most popular units, which are in high demand and therefore hard to reserve. This requires that they book their vacations up to two years in advance or as soon as possible.

When you have first purchased your timeshare, you are therefore at a disadvantage as other members have already booked the most popular dates in your unit type. Hence the relatively high numbers of new timeshare members who first think they have bought into a timeshare scam.  These clients sometimes take their complaints to forums and fake timeshare cancellation services rather than actually find a real solution to their timeshare concern with the original timeshare company. That’s where timeshare cancellation scammers start to take advantage.

What’s the real solution?

The best solution in these instances when you have purchased a timeshare from a reputable vacation club is to look into your options to upgrade your membership which allows you greater choice and flexibility on the kinds of units and locations where you can stay. Just be sure that your are upgrading your current membership and not purchasing a new one that runs alongside your original membership. Also, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a competitor timeshare company will purchase your old timeshare and replace it with an upgraded version; the reality is that you will be left to attend to both timeshare memberships and both maintenance fees.

Other alternatives to timeshare upgrades include banking your timeshare for future years until you have enough points to use the kind of suite that you require. Many reputable timeshare companies offer this option. Likewise, you might reserve any week that is available and then exchange it through an exchange network like Interval International or RCI for other dates that suit your schedule, and even other destinations. Likewise, you could rent out that week.

The key to successful timeshare membership

In many ways the key to successful timeshare membership is to view your timeshare as an ongoing investment in experiences whereby as you finances grow you can make your membership work more and more in your favor. Therefore, once you have become a timeshare member with a reputable company, the best solution is to upgrade your timeshare membership as your finances allow you. That way you will get the best from your timeshare.

Beware timeshare cancellation companies

Be very wary of timeshare solution companies that claim to offer you a free consultation about cancelling a timeshare contract, especially if they claim they can recover the money you paid towards the timeshare. This is not possible to cancel a timeshare after the rescission period has passed, no matter what your circumstances. If you find yourself still within the rescission period (known as the cooling-off period), you do not need to pay a cancellation company to help you do this. Timeshare cancellation companies are scams.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How to Choose a Vacation Rental

How to Choose a Vacation Rental

If you plan for your next getaway to include a stay at a vacation rental, there are several factors that you should consider before plunking down your hard-earned cash on the deposit.  Every traveler is different, which means one person’s ideal retreat could be another family’s worst nightmare.  While researching options in your destination may require some extra time and effort, it will definitely be worth it when you find yourself in a dreamy rental that is so wonderful that it makes it hard to go back home.  Here are some tips on how to navigate the sometimes overwhelming task of booking a vacation rental:

Identify Your Must-Haves

We all have priorities, and it is important to figure out what yours are before you commit to a rental.  Do you want to avoid the stairs by staying somewhere on the ground floor?  Are you looking for a spectacular view?  Would you like a quiet retreat where you can recharge and unwind?  Are nearby amenities important to you, and would you like to be within walking distance of restaurants, shops, etc.?  Do you want a waterfront escape by the beach or lake?  Nailing down the answers to these questions will help you narrow your search in an efficient manner. 

Choose Your Destination

Is there a certain country you’ve been dying to visit?  Have you dreamt of seeing a specific city as long as you can remember?  Is there a particular event you are traveling for?  Once you decide where you are headed, you can start to pinpoint specific neighborhoods within your destination based on your personal criteria. 

Rely on Help from the Internet

While we all know that you can’t believe everything you see or read on the internet, it can still be an extremely helpful tool when planning a trip.  Websites from TripAdvisor to AirBnB can help you visualize what you’re after and pinpoint what you would like to do in your destination.

DIY or Agent?

Decide whether you would like to do all of the research yourself, which can add up to several hours, or give a general idea of what you are after to an agent and let them handle gathering the necessary information about rental availability. 

Narrow Your Choices

Once you have found some interesting potential properties, compile a shortlist of your top choices.  From there, make sure you read several reviews to give you an idea of what previous travelers have experienced, good or bad.  This is a crucial step that you won’t regret! 

Review Contract

Don’t just skim the paperwork and sign on the dotted line.  Pay close attention to the fine print so you have a thorough understanding of all of the policies before you agree to renting any place, no matter how amazing it may seem. 

Make a Deposit

When you have finally settled on a vacation rental, make sure you put down a deposit to ensure you have it held for the specific dates you need it for.  If possible, pay the deposit fee with a credit card so that there is a paper trail should you have any problems down the line.  Avoid cash transfers as this is an easy way for scammers to get their hands on your money while leaving you without a legitimate place to stay.  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Beware Mexican Timeshare Resale Scams

Beware Mexican Timeshare Resale Scams

The Mexican timeshare industry has long been targeted by scammers and fraudsters, but these days it’s not fake Mexican timeshare providers you need to look out for. As the industry has become more tightly regulated, these types of scams have trickled away, and have been replaced by timeshare resale and cancellation fraud.

Mexican Timeshare Scam Identity Theft

It used to be the case that you could check on the legitimacy of any company or person who approached you with an internet search and a check through Better Business Bureau, but these days that’s becoming less reliable. You see, scammers these days are also indulging in identity theft; they very often take on the guise of a legitimate Mexican timeshare company, or the name of someone who works for a legitimate company, in order to fool people into trusting them. Not only does this help them to gain your trust quickly, but it will also enable them to make a clean getaway with their ill-gotten funds. As a result, it’s harder now than ever to recognize a Mexican timeshare scam when one comes your way.

But, what’s the scam?

Most of us are probably all well used to the concepts of timeshare and cancellation scams, but many people have never heard of Mexican timeshare resale scams! The premise, so to speak, is for scammers to convince a Mexican timeshare owner that they have someone interested in buying their timeshare. The money in this comes from the “finder’s fee” that the fraudsters levy.

Scammers tend to tailor their approach, but generally speaking this scam with start with a cold-call (1st warning sign) from someone claiming they have a buyer for your Mexican timeshare. They will generally be offering a lot more than you would expect (2nd warning sign!), and they’ll be in a big hurry (their buyers always are). They’ll then ask you to fill out some forms and wire them some money (danger, danger!) so that they can complete some checks.

Once they have your money these resale scammers will either disappear with your money entirely never to be heard from again, or they will call back a short while later saying that there have been issues. At this point, you may be shocked to hear, they will request more money. This can happen over and over, and for many there is a point at which they feel they are “in too deep” to back out, or worse they end up relying on a sale that never comes to clear mounting debt.

Don’t focus too much on the name they give you

As we have indicated previously, there is no real value in the name or business used by these people who call you now; they could be anyone wearing the skin of a genuine resale company rep to fool you.

This doesn’t mean that there’s no way for you find them out before you get scammed by a Mexican timeshare resale scam.

Note the language used

When you receive written (or verbal) communication from them, ask yourself if it sounds professional. Is the language, spelling, and/or grammar of the standard you would expect. While it is not unusual for communications from Mexican timeshare companies to have some grammar errors (most of the staff will speak Spanish as their first language), contracts and official websites should be flawless.

Wire transfers

If they ask you to wire money to them in advance be very, very wary.

Is it too good to be true?

Consider the price they’re offering you for your Mexican timeshare; is it reasonable for your membership? If it’s much higher than the market value you should question the validity of the interaction. If it seems too good to be true then it probably is!

Do you feel manipulated?

More often than not Mexican timeshare scammers will begin to use manipulation techniques in order to close the deal; they will become more aggressive, add pressure, or try to make you feel guilty if you attempt to back out of the proceedings.

Trust your Intuition

Listen to your gut; intuition may not be scientific, but it’s often the first inkling that  anyone has of something being not right.

If you watch out for all of this you can notice Mexican timeshare scammers at work before they get the better of you. Once you know how these people work you can beat them at their own game. These scams are not limited to Mexico, however, so keep all this in mind no matter where the offers and propositions come from.