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Thai police issue warnings over scam hotel advertising

FILE PHOTO: Villa Finder

If it sounds too good to be true…

The Thai authorities have issued a warning over fake Facebook pages masquerading as the pages of hotels and villas in the kingdom. The people behind the pages are allegedly targeting tourists, using photos of real properties in an attempt to entice them to part with their cash by making a “booking”.

The Phuket Express reports that Krisana Pattanajaroen from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau says most of the fake Facebook pages contain photos of real properties in popular tourist locations such as Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Larn, Rayong, and Chanthaburi.

The scam works when tourists believe the pages to be legitimate and part with their cash to book a room at the advertised property. Once the money has been transferred, there is no further communication from the “property” and the phone number previously used is suddenly disconnected or the victim finds they have been blocked and have no way of contacting the scammers.

According to the report, over 238 people have fallen victim to the scam recently, with damages estimated to be in the millions of baht. The police are urging people to use good judgement when booking hotels, villas, or other holiday accommodation.

Travellers are advised to only book through reputable sites such as Agoda, Traveloka, or Booking.com. In addition, people should call the accommodation prior to transferring any money – and never transfer funds to a personal bank account. And remember, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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