As the number of owners who are trying to get out of their timeshares is increasing every year, scammers are innovating new ways to con the unsuspecting victims. Recently, the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Indiana is warning consumers nationwide of a travel scam promising free airline tickets in exchange for a presentation on a questionable timeshare.
According to the BBB in Connecticut, the scam surfaced there, involving letters sent to consumers saying that they qualify for two free airline tickets. The letters come from Arizona-based sweepstakes marketing company called Nicholson Barnes, recipient of an F rating from the BBB for issues with misleading advertising and the company’s links to the companies Southwest Travel and Hoffman Sims.
The said letter requires consumers to sign up for a 90-minute presentation in order to get the tickets. Presentations take place at Triton Travel Group which is a franchise of Oklahoma-based Outrigger Vacation Club — the target of a lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General.
According to the state’s lawsuit, the Outrigger Vacation Club was allegedly took money from consumers who purchased vacation club memberships but never gave out promised prizes and benefits. And with an average membership price at $4,700, consumers lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Ohio attorney general’s office then warns that instant travel offers, coupled with overly aggressive sales reps, are generally too good to be true. Thus, before using a travel club, ask questions about additional fees, overbooking and how deposits are returned.