April 14, 2020
Written by AVLCI
For the aquaholics and beach babies, vacation club memberships are a wonderful investment to make! If you and your family experience a sense of wanderlust and long to vacation where there is sand, sea and surf, then a timeshare membership is the right membership for you. However, just as in any industry, there are unscrupulous people who use this as an opportunity to conduct a scam or a con. Here are three red flags to watch out to protect yourself against a timeshare scammer:
Too legit to quit! The very first thing to check to know if a vacation club is a timeshare scam or not, is to see if the company is a duly registered entity with the government. Contrary to popular belief, timeshare companies are not registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). In fact, they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). An easy way to confirm that an organization is not propagating a vacation club scam is to search for whether it is registered in the SEC website using this link: www.sec.gov.ph/online-services/search-registered-companies.
For legal timeshare entities, an SEC registration number will appear. For example, a legitimate vacation club like the Astoria Vacation and Leisure Club, Inc. or AVLCI, has an SEC registration number of CS200516093, registered in 2006. If you can confirm that the timeshare organization is duly registered, then it is safe to purchase a vacation club membership, because it has been vetted and is regulated by the government.
Phone a friend! Always put your own personal and professional network to good use before making a vacation club investment. If there is a timeshare company offering you a membership deal, ask your family members, friends or colleagues if they have heard of the reputation of the organization before. If the people in your network are happy members themselves, then you are assured of quality vacation experiences and you may invest with ease in that vacation club.
Pics or it didn’t happen! These days, social media makes it so easy to search for verification about the experiences that members have in a vacation club. Con artists committing timeshare fraud won’t have the social media proof to back their offer up. Look up the timeshare company online through Facebook, Instagram and other channels to check if they have satisfied members. Usually, happy members share tons of photos, videos and testimonials of their getaway experiences. Some even create blogs or vlogs of their vacation club adventures, both locally and abroad. If you find a lot of members with legitimate profiles who are sharing positive content, then you can be assured that you will have the same experience, too!
Aside from these tips to determine the veracity of a timeshare organization, there are other additional signs to observe and look out for. If you’d like to read about 3 more important red flags to take note of, including two secret ones that few people know about, then check out this second blog, “The Timeshare Scam, Part Two: 3 More Red Flags to Watch Out For”.
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