Woman allegedly organized luxury hotel booking scam in Singapore
Scams have become quite common these days, with various iterations backing each other up with frightening regularity.
One such incident that has gone viral on social media is an alleged hotel booking scam involving a hotel room broker who offered to book hotel rooms on behalf of its customers at a discounted price.
Victims of this scam have banded together and, through social media platforms, called out for the woman to be the mastermind of the operation.
Through testimonials collected by a local podcaster, the total amount of money raised through this scam was around $500,000.
As of this writing, many of these victims have submitted police reports. Here’s what we know about the latest developments.
The scammer would collect the booking fee without making a booking
News of the alleged scam went viral on December 15, after various posts attempting to draw attention to the operation spread like wildfire across the internet.
These posts all referred to a particular Instagram user as the main author.
According to one of these Facebook poststhe victims allegedly paid this woman a certain amount for a discounted hotel room.
Although they received a confirmation number, these reservations were not reflected in the hotel’s reservation system.
The scammer collected around $500,000 in payments
However, there was a time when she could successfully live up to her end of the bargain.
Confirmed by many key opinion leaders in Singapore’s Malay community, her business appears to have boomed as a result.
A Singaporean podcaster, Dzar Ismailcollected testimonials from victims of the scam in an effort to get to the bottom of the scam.
Mr. Dzar Ismail then asked the victims to send him an Instagram message containing the amount of money lost and the reserved packages.
He estimated the scammer collected over $500,000 in hotel reservation payments.
He then implored victims of the scam to file police reports and tell their stories online to raise awareness of the scam.
It’s unclear how the hotel booking scam came about
Speculation is rife about how she managed to make her alleged scam work. As mentioned earlier, there was a time when the operation was successful.
A popular theory was that she had booked hotel rooms with a personal rate.
However, another theory suggested that she was using elements of a Ponzi scheme instead.
Ultimately, at this time, it’s unclear how operations worked behind the scenes.
MS News has reached out to the Instagram account in question for comment, and we have yet to hear back as of press time.
Hope the authorities get to the bottom of the scam
Homestays are a popular form of relaxation for most Singaporeans, and one that even families can enjoy together.
It must be a terrible feeling for many of these victims. Many of them are parents when they break the news to their children.
Hopefully the authorities can get to the bottom of the scam.
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Featured image adapted from booking.com.