Beware of ‘Time Sharing’ Scams

A concerned citizen confided to this writer about a group who purportedly represent an acclaimed real estate firm in Manila of having been duped into buying the company’s “time sharing” plans.
The incident took place over the weekend when an unlisted caller informed the complainant of winning a travel “gift certificate” here and abroad. The couple reportedly won the “certificate” through a raffle after gassing up in the local gas station here.
The gift certificate entitles a couple to have a three nights and two day holiday tour of choice in any local or international destination. Among the places of choice include Bali, Indonesia, Las Vegas, and Orlando, Florida in the United States.
Obviously, the excitement of winning a gift certificate is overwhelming that one often forgets the sinister plot behind the scheme. One would only come to realize that something must have been wrong after falling into the trap. Unfortunately, this happened to a couple in Cagayan De Oro who shelled out their hard-earned money in exchange of the loathsome travel scam. The couple narrated that they were invited to a dinner in one of the city’s posh restaurants in Lapasan. The catch: The couple could not avail of the travel gift certificate unless they would attend the dinner. Aside from the dinner, the couple should also listen to a 90-minute product presentation.
Here is how it works. The representative would talk to the couple and the present the product with the use of a “laptop.” The product is called “time sharing” plan. Apparently, this scheme is new to most of the people around. This scheme is a financial idea where the buyer would entitle the family to travel anywhere of the listed destinations once a year.
Under the “time sharing scheme,” one has to pay a reservation fee in order to enjoy the program in the next 10 year period. Actually, the total package, costs as much as P 460,000. The buyer should pay, at least, 20 percent of the package or P 92,000 and pay a monthly due of about P 3,500. Remember: One has to travel with the family once a year!
The visual presentation, through the aid of the laptop, provides the couple a glimpse of the prospective places. Definitely, a presentation of the prospective places in Bali, Indonesia proves beautifully exhilarating. One might fall into a trance that nothing could be seen in the presentation, other than the eagerness to be at the places at any given time. The gift certificate lures the couple as the means to reach the tourist destinations like in Indonesia. But, wait. The couple should first pay a reservation of P 5,000 to P 8,800 to make sure that the couple gets the reservation.
Now, as the glimpse of excitement bury the couple in a blissful obsession, the representative starts to manipulate the subconscious mind – “you can go there with the gift certificate, but first pay the reservation.” The representative will not let the couple go. The 90 minute presentation would last until the time the couple would shell out the reservation fee. It is called “hard selling.” Perhaps, the representative would like to offset the expenses in coming to Cagayan De Oro and the cost of the “dinner.” Whether this proposition is a scam, I would like one to visit: http://theskychick.com/2013/10/20/club-astoria-and-other-time-share-properties-scam-or-legit/comment-page-1/#comment-3523.
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