KUALA LUMPUR: Police have caught a woman suspected to have used social media to cheat people to the tune of RM200,000 through failed travel packages over the past one year.
The 22-year-old was remanded for three days from May 23 and then remanded again on May 26 by the Manjung Commercial Crime Investigation Division over a failed travel package to Pulau Perhentian, Kajang Police chief ACP Othman Nanyan told Bernama.
It is learnt that the single and unemployed woman had allegedly lured her victims with domestic and overseas travel packages advertised on her Instagram account ‘mytravel.coo’.
The Instagram account was closed following the woman’s arrest.
The domestic packages advertised included travel to Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian with an offer of a three-day/two-night stay for between RM200 and RM250 per person.
The overseas trips included travel to Japan and South Korea for RM1,300 per person for a five-day/four-night visit.
The woman had also advertised travel packages to Pulau Tioman, the Maldives and Australia with the cost including air ticket, accommodation, transport, entrance tickets and meals.
One of her victims, a freelance travel agent in Kuantan who wanted to be known only as Hanie, said she and her eight customers lost about RM20,000 after booking a trip to Japan that was rescheduled from April 29 to May 1 and never materialised.
“The cost included the travel package of RM1,300 per person and my flight ticket from Johor Baharu to Kuala Lumpur.
“After arriving at KLIA at 4am on the day in question, we found that our names were not on the passenger list,” she told Bernama recently.
Hanie said she sent a message over WhatsApp to the woman, who had identified herself as Alia, but was informed that she was attending to the funeral arrangements of her mother and could not come to the airport.
“She promised to refund our payment but did not keep the promise to return our money three days later, and has not done so up to now,” she said.
Hanie said a police report was lodged on the matter at the Kuantan Police headquarters in Pahang on May 20.
It is learnt that some of the victims who went to the woman’s house in Sungai Buloh to get their refund found her parents to be alive and well.
Another victim, Nur Rosamimie Farisa Mohd Roslan, 30, lost almost RM3,000 after she and 11 family members and employees paid for a three-day/two-night Pulau Redang travel package on May 20 that did not materialise.
“The package cost RM250 per person. I realised that we had been cheated on May 19, a day before the scheduled departure, after receiving an Instagram message from someone.
“Not wanting to disappoint my family members and employees, I contacted another travel agent and bought another package to Pulau Redang,” she said.
She also said that she lodged a report with the Kota Baharu Police headquarters on May 23.
Several victims, many of them women, have launched an Instagram account ‘mytravel.coo_penipu’ to expose the racket.
A check by Bernama showed that this Instagram account is still active and has 14,400 followers. It also displays 68 screen shots and proof of the victims’s conversations with the woman. – Bernama