8 people fall for Sabah tour package scam, losing thousands
At least eight people lost about $6,000 in total after falling for a travel scam online, Shin Min Daily News reported on Tuesday (May 16).
They had seen an advertisement on Facebook promoting a tour package to Kundasang Mountain in Sabah.
One of the victims, surnamed Chan, 52, told Shin Min she booked a three-night tour package for herself and a friend in April, through an agent named Alvin.
“The package included the flight and accommodation, and cost $678," said Chan, who also provided the agent with their passport details.
A photo of their text conversation in Chinese showed a message initiated by the agent on April 13.
Chan said that Alvin had told her he would send an e-mail confirmation after purchasing the tickets. But up till a week before the trip, they had not received any such email.
Chan said that whenever she questioned Alvin, he would come up with various excuses for the delay.
In the end, the tickets weren't bought, and Chan said the agent informed her that she would receive a full refund.
"I did not get the money, and now I'm not even able to contact Alvin," said Chan, who eventually found out about others online who fell victim to the scam.
"The eight of us suffered losses of about $6,000 in total and we all have yet to receive a single cent," said Chan, adding she and the others have made a police report.
Chan believes that there are even more victims, as she had seen agents responding to more than 100 queries on their Facebook page.
According to Shin Min, the Facebook page has since been removed.
Another victim told the Chinese daily that they received details of the flight and accommodation after badgering the agent for a response.
They later learnt, however, that the flight details were bogus.