At least two more people have come forward to open cases against a woman who reportedly sold fake cruises to the South African public in order to pocket the money herself, according to The Witness.
More than a dozen people have been left tens of thousands of rands out of pocket after Carmelita Juanita Jansen, while working for a Durban travel agency, sold fake cruises and redirected the money into her own bank account.
One of the victims told The Witness she was informed of Jansen’s cruise offer by a relative, who herself had booked to go on a cruise in November.
The woman then booked for a group of about 13 people to go on a similar cruise in March, costing more than R15,000.
Jansen asked for the money to be paid as soon as possible to secure the cheap bookings, but the tickets and booking confirmation never materialized.
“We all started demanding our money back. She said the trip was cancelled and we will be paid,” the woman alleged.
Some people were reportedly paid back, but most were not.
“It’s terrible. Our groups mainly consisted of pensioners who came from Johannesburg and Cape Town and they were very excited. It’s quite sad that this happened,” she said.
Jansen appeared briefly in the magistrate’s court on December 20th in connection with the allegations, but was not asked to plead to any of the charges she is facing.
She has since been released on R1,000 bail, but additional victims of her scam have reportedly come forward, adding information to the investigation.
While it is easy to be tricked into parting with your hard-earned money by a scammer, there are certain red flags that you should look out for to avoid falling into the trap.
Jansen used the reputable brand for which she worked to create a false sense of security, but two of these ten warning signs were apparent (the discrepancy in the name of the seller and travel provider, and the limited time pressure).
And after you have booked your cruise or vacation through a reputable travel agency and find yourself enjoying a day in a foreign country, take care to avoid these common tourist traps around the world.
Categories: SA Cruise News