Timeshare Hustle Is A New Low For Industry

And the legitamate timeshare professionals can’t seem to stop it
BY: CARRIE DUNCAN

There are some fake timeshare snaggers working the marina front with what seems like impunity.

Your first clue you need to slug these guys upside the head with your bag full of souvenir T shirts is they come right up to you, with no barrier between you and them. That is not permitted in the industry. They often say they are selling timeshare in the new five story building going up slowly on the marina front, next to Marina Cabo Plaza. They promise different goodies, depending on your interests but a favorite of theirs is golf at Diamante. When reached by phone, Diamante officials said they had never heard of these people.

These slimy bastards make their money by some variation of, “we will buy your present timeshare for a certain amount, (Clue: more than you could get for it anywhere else), and all you have to do is give us the money to buy it now, then we will sell your timeshare and give that back to you, and you’ve rolled that property into this nice pretty new place. Bada bing, bada boom, they’ve got some money from you and you’ve got, what? Not even a round of golf, and certainly not a timeshare in the hotel that’s actually owned by the guy who owns the mall. He has nothing to do with this scam.

Another clue you’re headed down a bad path: They ask you to show up the next morning in an office in Plaza Golicott, second floor, over Senior Frog’s. It’s very close to where the cruise shippers come into shore on the little tenders. If you’re being led into there, flee!

We talked to the director of the timeshare association, a trade group created to promote the industry’s objectives and police their members. But they are not a government empowered enforcement agency and since these slimy guys don’t belong to the association, there isn’t much they can do, according to the general director Javier Olivares.

Olivares cautions you to only do business with timeshare snaggers, (OPCs) who are wearing a current ID around their neck. 

Next, only take a voucher for an activity that has a red number on it.

If you do not heed our warnings and find yourself in the belly of the beast, check that the basic contract has somewhere on it the Asudestico logo we have pictured here.

If you’ve really seriously blown us off and you realize that you’ve just lost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, hustle yourself down to the timeshare office and they will hold your hand through a rather lengthy and confusing process, totally in Spanish, that might get your money back. The organization is called Asudestico and they are on the corner of Cabo San Lucas St. and Juventud St.  It’s easy to find, there is a sign on the building, and they speak enough English that you can manage to file a complaint. The phone number is 143 9640. Email jolivares@asudestico.org.mx. Even though this has nothing to do with any of their members, Javier will graciously walk you through the procedure with Profeco, the consumer protection agency that can help you quite a lot. Nobody at Profeco speaks English, but the timeshare association will provide you with a translator. This is a very valuable service for you, as Profeco has the weight of the government behind it and they have a somewhat good reputation for honesty. Hey, in Mexico “somewhat” is practically golden.

So why can’t anyone shut down these scam artists? Because there is so much money in it, they can spread it around the city officials. Those officials, then, drag their feet on enforcement, suddenly getting all pansy and finicky about the niceties of the law, saying if they don’t catch them in the act, there is nothing they can do, yada yada yada.  Anyone who has seen the police swoop down like God Almighty’s rath on a target of their choosing knows better, but there is nothing anyone who cares about this can do.

The Tourist agency? Ha! They won’t even spend any political capital they may have, (or not have), to get the police to stop harassing foreigners.

Ironically, the timeshare association itself is your best bet. Use them, they are anxious to help.