Hanoi group investigated for online tour booking scam

By Pham Du   October 12, 2023 | 05:20 pm PT
Hanoi group investigated for online tour booking scam
A person browses a page advertising "super-cheap" tours online. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du
Three people in Hanoi are being investigated for tricking people into paying them for non-existent budget hotel rooms, flight tickets and tours.

Tran Ha Mi, 27, along with two others, are under investigation for "obtaining property by fraud," police announced Thursday.

The three are accused of having used social media since April to cooperate with another accomplice named Sam to trick people. They would help victims book hotel rooms, flight tickets and tours, with Sam providing Mi's group with Facebook accounts with thousands of followers to advertise their low-cost services.

When a victim agreed to pay for the booking, the group would pretend to book the rooms and tickets on reputable websites, even sending confirmation codes. After either the down payment or full payments were made, the group would simply keep the money and cut contact with the victims.

The police said the group had swindled billions of Vietnamese dong this way. The money gained was split between the four. (VND1 billion = US$40,900)

Authorities are on the hunt for Sam.

The Ministry of Public Security recommends that tourists check information clearly and only book tours, tickets and rooms from reputable companies to avoid being scammed.

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