May 26, 2020, 19:38 ET
LAS VEGAS, May 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Diamond Resorts®, a global leader in the hospitality, vacation ownership and entertainment industries, is warning customers of an alarming increase in so-called timeshare "cancellation" companies targeting timeshare owners with scare tactics and false information. These unscrupulous companies flood social media, radio and television with false advertisements inducing owners to stop paying their timeshare contracts, while charging the unsuspecting victims thousands (and sometimes tens of thousands) of dollars in upfront fees in exchange for no legitimate service.
These companies are spending big on misleading advertisements, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and profit off of the consumers they claim to help. Consumers should be on the lookout for advertisements and communications containing false statements such as these recent examples:
Mail Advertisement from the Newton Group Includes False Claims
Many cancellation companies send mailers containing false advertising to timeshare owners in an effort to scare them into attending a sales presentation with the cancellation company and then to pay exorbitant fees to cancel. A direct mailer sent to timeshare owners by the Newton Group falsely claims that there are "new Timeshare Laws allowing developers to raise maintenance fees with no restrictions." This is not true. There are no new such laws, and in reality, there are a variety of legal restrictions that preclude maintenance fees from being limitlessly raised.
The statements included in the Newton Group direct mailer are so patently false that Diamond Resorts filed a court motion on May 11 outlining how the advertisement violates the Lanham Act which prohibits false advertising.
Diamond Resorts has also seen other advertisements suggesting that "children or heirs are automatically financially responsible" for a timeshare after the owner's death. Again, this is false and another common scare tactic used in these deceitful advertisements. Newton Group co-defendant, US Consumer Attorneys, utilized this scare tactic in its false advertisements, but has since been prohibited from false advertising and solicitation of Diamond owners by court ordered permanent injunction. US Consumer Attorneys also agreed to pay a monetary payment to Diamond Resorts and to cooperate in Diamond's efforts against Newton Group.
Diamond Resorts urges timeshare owners to properly consider the falsity of these advertisements and to avoid being tricked into engaging with these purported cancellation companies.
Fraudulent Companies are Exploiting Diamond Resorts' Legitimate Programs
So-called cancellation companies swindle customers out of thousands of dollars and often hurt the consumers they claim to protect. Many customers are left with damaged credit, defaulted loans and may even face foreclosure because they follow the deceitful instruction of timeshare exit companies.
The truth is, cancellation companies have no legitimate method to get consumers out of their timeshare contracts and therefore cannot provide any bona fide service. If a consumer desires to end their timeshare ownership, the only safe and legal way to do this is directly with their developer.
Some cancellation companies discourage consumers from using Diamond programs available to its owners to make changes to their contracts. Diamond has found many cancellation companies charge owners exorbitant upfront fees for cancellation services and unbeknownst to the owners, do nothing but attempt to utilize Diamond's programs they discouraged the owners from using themselves!
"Don't be fooled by the tricks of so-called timeshare exit companies. These companies are spending a lot of money to spread misleading information," warns, Mike Flaskey, CEO, Diamond Resorts. "Protect your finances and don't give these companies your hard earned money in exchange for empty promises."
Attorneys General are warning consumers and working to stop the deceptive acts of these companies. In addition to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson's lawsuit against Timeshare Exit Team, Missouri State Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Martin Management, a timeshare exit company and its owner Steve Martin. In 2019, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Brian Scroggs, Bart Bowe and their company Real Travel, LLC for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Numerous other agencies have also warned consumers about timeshare cancellation companies including the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Diamond Resorts® encourages timeshare owners who may be interested in adjusting their contracts to contact their developer for options. To learn more about red flags and report possible fraudulent third-party exit activity, visit TimeshareCancellationAwareness.com.
About Diamond Resorts
Diamond Resorts® offers destinations, events and experiences to help members make a habit of breaking from the routine. From unforgettable getaways to exclusive concert series to VIP receptions and dinners, members turn to Diamond to recharge, reconnect and remind each other what matters most. Our focus on quality resorts, customer service and flexibility means members can return to a favorite resort, book a cruise to explore new countries or attend a once-in-a-lifetime event with the same level of confidence and anticipation. With access to a world of entertainment and activities, a Diamond membership ensures that people are always looking forward to vacation.
SOURCE Diamond Resorts
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