Officials in Singapore have sentenced another timeshare fraudster, after he was involved in multiple cheating scams, duping unsuspecting timeshare owners into believing he could recover money from terminating their timeshare memberships. He has been sentenced to 3 and a half years imprisonment for his part in this huge scam.
A court heard that during the course of three years, over 50 victims reported to police that they were cheated by the defendant into paying money to recover some of the money they had already paid to their timeshare resorts. Victims paid nearly $100,000 to the fraudster and his co-conspirators.
The scheme involved duping people into believing they worked for a Singapore court and telling them they were able to recoup money from their timeshare memberships, if certain fees were paid. Investigators found that all the proceeds for this crime had actually been spent on paying employees’ salaries and commissions. None of the services they claimed to provide were carried out, the individuals involved simply pocketed the money.
Timeshare in Singapore
Singapore is the 38th largest economy in the world and benefits from very low unemployment. This has helped to create a thriving holiday market and timeshare remains a popular choice in Singapore. In recent years, authorities have tightened safeguards and eliminated loopholes regarding timeshare deals in an attempt to provide better protection for consumers.
Despite this, and the heavy penalties involved in Singapore law, timeshare owners are still falling victim to scam artists. Just like in Europe and the US, timeshare has earned a bad reputation. So in Singapore, timeshare scammers pose as legitimate travel companies, and even use job ads as a way to find victims. Scammers even go as far as creating fake email exchanges and documents to fool people into believing they are acting on their behalf of the government, when they are actually scamming owners a second time by pretending to help with the first scam. They go to great lengths to scam victims, targeting vulnerable timeshare owners, desperate to get out of their contracts.
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a Timeshare Termination.