Woman realises she's been scammed by fake travel agent when she tries to check into 'paid' hotel room

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Mbalenhle Nyembe was scammed by a bogus travel agent. Image supplied by Mbalenhle
Mbalenhle Nyembe was scammed by a bogus travel agent. Image supplied by Mbalenhle
  • Mbalenhle Nyembe tried to check in at a Cape Town hotel, but there was no record of a payment made under her name although she had already paid for her stay.
  • A "travel agent" on Twitter had promised her a discounted hotel stay and she took him up. Instead of paying R11 000, he sent her an invoice for R 7 400 and she paid.
  • The same person has scammed another woman at the hotel, and unfortunately, she paid for her stay and her activities. 

Mbalenhle Nyembe made a booking for a hotel stay through a "travel agent" known on Twitter. Little did she know that she had fallen for a bogus offer. 

She tells W24 that the travel agent's online presence was hard to miss. "He couldn't stop talking about tourism and his passion for it. It's all we spoke about, really, and we were all rooting for him," she says.

Before being scammed, Mbalenhle also met him in person, and he seemed like a sincere and honest young person trying to make a living for himself, she tells us.

This meant that she trusted him and when she wanted to book her holiday, she felt comfortable doing it through him. Mbalenhle says they settled on R7 400 for the nights booked at a Cape Town hotel instead of the R11 000 which the hotel actually charges.

"He insisted that I pay a minimum of 50% to secure the booking. I could pay the full amount, but for some reason, I opted for only paying 50%, and planned to pay the balance when checking in," she explains. 

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However, when her holiday dates arrived and she went to check in at the hotel in Cape Town, she was told a reservation had been made, but not paid for. She then met another person who had fallen for the same scam.

"I met a young woman at reception who had booked everything with him (the scammer), including activities that were paid in full. I felt so sorry for her," she adds. 

In a thread on Twitter, Mbalenhle told her story, and it turns out she was not the only one scammed. 

READ MORE | ‘My best friend of 30 years stole R75 000 from my family, and then she ghosted us'

Mbalenhle had since opened a case against the scammer and says, "I would like to get my refund, and I would like him to refund all the people that he scammed. Whether I get a refund or not, I'm not dropping the charges. I want the law to take its course and have him prosecuted. I want justice for all the people he scammed of their hard-earned money."

Have you ever been scammed?  Let us know here.

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