Timeshare Scam Under Investigation by German Prosecutors
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The website TypicallySpanish.com is reporting that a German prosecutor is investigating timeshare fraud conducted in the Canary Islands. The case is being prosecuted in Stuttgart, bringing charges against Ivan Boris, a 37-year-old man from Croatia. According to the report, Boris has assumed at least fifteen false identities, in his attempts to defraud victims in the timeshare scam.
Boris allegedly promises the timeshare buyers an investment return and uses falsely notarized documents to back up his promises. The timeshare fraud has involved perhaps as many as 40 victims, who spent nearly three quarters of one million dollars (collectively) for timeshare rights at the Club Monte Anfi.
Timeshare Sales in Spain
As a timeshare buyer, you should understand that timeshare purchased in the Canaries (or in the Balearic Islands) is governed by Spanish Timeshare Law. Click here and you can read a summary of Spanish Timeshare Law from the official source: The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe, the OTE.
Timeshare laws in Europe have lagged behind those in the US and many other parts of the world in providing a structure that properly protects the interests of timeshare owners and timeshare buyers. While it wasn’t for lack of having laws in place, the wording of many of those laws simply permitted loopholes that could be exploited.
In recent years, the OTE has tightened up their laws, targeting £100,000 in 2007 to its “Enforcement Project in Spain,” with plans to increase that spending in 2008 by 30 percent. During the past year, the OTE Enforcement Project in Spain, working with the police, has closed four bogus law firms and seven timeshare resales companies that were running timeshare scams.
Timeshare in Spain is some of the most splendid in the world, but historically, it has also been a hotbed of timeshare fraud. Among timeshares in the Canary Islands, Tenerife in particular has seen more than its share of timeshare scams. The OTE estimates that nearly half a million Brits lose over a billion pounds each year to timeshare fraud in the form of Discount Travel Membership Clubs.
Buy Timeshare Safely
When it comes to buying timeshares, the rule is the same worldwide: Don’t rush. Don’t make a buying decision on the spot and don’t make your decision to buy under pressure. If you are not dealing with a worldwide brand that you know, (Marriott timeshare, Hyatt vacation club timeshare, Hilton timeshare, etc.) Take the time to find out whom you are dealing with, and not just based on their word, but by contacting organizations such as OTE and asking them about a timeshare company’s reputation.
If a timeshare sales person pressures you with a “buy now or this price goes away” approach—walk away. You can always buy timeshare at even better prices than the developer can offer by buying timeshare resales, where you never have to face the high pressure sales pitch, and can deal directly with the current timeshare owner.
You have choices and you have time – take advantage of them.