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South East MEP Sharon Bowles warns holidaymakers of Spanish timeshare scams

October 18, 2010 3:10 PM

Sharon Bowles MEP, who represents South East England at the European Parliament, is warning holidaymakers about a slew of Spanish timeshare scams.

The Timeshare Council has produced a blacklist of hundreds of sham timeshare companies, many of which are based in Spain.

Some of these companies shut up shop once they have made enough profit. However, other companies sell fake timeshares to unsuspecting customers then change their name and contact details in a bid to evade detection by the authorities.

Sharon Bowles MEP said:

"A constituent wrote to me recently to tell me that he had been conned into investing £27,000 in a fake timeshare. The company, based in Spain, claimed that he would receive a return of £4,000 every three years. To date, five years later, he has not received a penny.

"In this case, the company that sold the timeshare has changed its name and contact details. To make matters worse, the 'new' company has demanded my constituent pay a £400 annual maintenance fee for upkeep of the timeshare property.

"When contacted by my office, the 'new' company, which has a similar name to the old company, claimed to know nothing of my constituent's timeshare contract, nor did they divulge how they came about his contact details.

"A lot of timeshare scams are easy to spot but in this case the customer was convinced to buy, face-to-face, by other 'satisfied' customers.

"I will be raising this issue with Internal Market Commissioner, Michel Barnier, at one of our frequent meetings. Sham timeshare companies should not be able to get away with conning thousands of customers, including my own constituents, out of thousands of pounds simply by changing their name."

ENDS