First and foremost, we cannot stress enough that genuine timeshares are not scams. Secondly, we must assure you that the federal and state governments of Mexico have done much over the last decade to protect consumers from timeshare scammers in Mexico. Of course, fraudsters will always look for opportunities, so it pays to be aware of the ways in which you can protect yourself. Here is the best advice for avoiding timeshare scams in Mexico.
How to Avoid timeshare scams in Mexico
It is easy to avoid timeshare scams in Mexico with these simple hints and tips:
Buy timeshare from long standing companies in Mexico
Only buy a timeshare in Mexico from a company with a history and good track record; new timeshare companies should ring warning bells. Some of them may, indeed, be legitimate, but it’s hard to tell them from the scams. Most timeshare scams in Mexico are orchestrated by companies with no previous history. See the next point…
No news is bad news
If you can’t find any news or historical evidence about the company in question online (even something bad) then you should be wary. A company with no internet history is most likely to be a fly-by-night scam. Avoid the fraudsters with thorough internet searches. Even reading complaints is better than not seeing anything about the company.
Be wary of expensive gifts
You can tell a scammer when it comes to Mexican timeshare based on the gifts you are being offered. If these are expensive, “no strings attached” gifts that feel too good to be true we suggest you be wary. It is common to give gifts as incentives to attend a timeshare presentation, but these are generally discounts and coupons for local attractions or restaurants etc. Over the top promises, even if they are delivered, are more likely than not to be part of a timeshare scam; in the end you pay a very high price for the “gift”.
Don’t buy from the brochure
You must always ensure that you see the property in person in Mexico; do not buy based on a sales pitch and a brochure. Inspect the resort and units on offer yourself, and only buy during pre-sale from a highly reputable and long-established company (and only when you are at the official offices of the developer).
Sign the contract in a language you understand
Make sure you read the contract for your timeshare purchase personally in a language you understand; in Mexico most contract will be in Spanish with an English translation. If you feel it necessary, ask for an official translation of the timeshare contract.
Check for complaints
A quick internet search for complaints will tell you a lot about your chosen company and help you avoid timeshare scams in Mexico; be sure to check both the official site and independent sites like TripAdvisor. Be sure to read between the lines when it comes to the big companies, too; look for their replies to see how they deal with complaints, and remember that some cancellation scammers will post fake negative reviews to drum up business for cancellation fraud.
Promises in Writing
One of the main complaints you will find, even about genuine providers, concern promises not delivered. If your sales agent promises you something, ensure it is in your contract. If it’s not in writing it is not legally binding. Some people cry scam, when really they should have checked the contract before signing.
So, do you have any other warning signs to share? Or perhaps you have some tips for how someone can avoid timeshare scams in Mexico? Let is know in the comments section below!