San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

Blueroadrunner often receives email from people who have fallen prey to a timeshare fraud in other parts of Mexico. They all voice the same chorus of despair: "Help us get our money back!"

Timeshare PromiseIf you purchase a timeshare in Mexico, you should know that Mexican law requires a 5 business day cooling off period for timeshare purchases. This is known as the rescission period. However, much like the mail-in-rebate stratagem, getting the people at the other end to honor their part of the bargain can be a contentious nightmare.

Somewhere in your contract, probably in its smallest typeface, will be buried information on your right to rescind, along with the procedure and the number of days you have in which to act. Be sure to read this section thoroughly and follow the procedure as listed in your contract to the letter if you want to have a valid rescission. And above all, document everything.

If you have a Mexican contract, even if it does not list this information -- you have FIVE DAYS. And that's five calendar days, not five business days, so the sooner you act, the better. If the Mexican resort had you sign a waiver to waive your right to rescission, please note that it is NOT VALID. Mexican law does not allow the rescind period to be waived. So you can rescind even if you sign one, though you may have a bit of a battle ahead of you.

Here are 7 things you can do to avoid timeshare scams:

1. Don't ever, ever buy (or sell) 'on the spot.' Sleep on it, and take the time to evaluate whether the deal is a good one.

2. If you are offered a prize as an incentive, read the 'fine print' on the prize, and DON'T PAY for anything.

3. Read the contract and have it reviewed by an attorney. If the sales person promised you something that's not in the contract, don't sign the contract!

4. If the presentation is too high pressure, leave. You have every right to leave when you want. Simply stand up and politely say 'thank you very much but we're leaving now.' Then go -- don't let them argue with you.

5. Ask for references -- and call them. Ask for folks who have been happy and unhappy with the previous service.

6. Don't ever call a 1-900 number to book a trip -- it's very likely a scam.

7. Consider a timeshare the same way you'd consider any other real estate investment. Do research and educate yourself on the market and the value.

.If you have fallen victim to a timeshare fraud, please don't email Blueroadrunner.com asking for advice. You need to contact PROFECO, your credit card company (if you paid by credit) and quite likely you will require a lawyer, not a tourist town information website.

Links to More Information About Timeshare Problems
Mexico tourist Advisory Timeshare Forums
Steps to Cancel a Timshare Contract The Hidden Costs of Timeshare
Fighting Back Your Right to Cancel
How to Rescind a Timeshare Purchase Dare to Say No
Assessment Fees Breaking Down the Cost
How to Spot a Bad Apple Avoid Timseshare Fraud
Beware of Bogus Timeshare Deals Mexican Timeshare Scam