A Kensington resident says she is the victim of a con woman selling cheap holiday accommodation, and wants to warn others ahead of the festive season.
Carmen Benjamin says she booked an eight-sleeper house in Gordon’s Bay for a week during October but after paying the deposit, she realised she’d been had.
“The price for the week was R3500 and the deposit was R800, which we paid immediately into the bank account of Da Gama Oorde,” she explains.
“Afterwards, I asked (via text) for proof of payment but I did not get anything and even when I asked for a chance to see the place, we kept getting excuses.
“Eventually I went onto Facebook and posted in the Gordon’s Bay group and that is where I learnt that it was a scam and there were a lot of people that went through the same thing.
“In hindsight, I actually ended up laughing at myself because I should have known from the price that it was too good to be true.”
Carmen says she got several messages from mense who also fell victim to the “Da Gama Oorde” scam.
“We only have a WhatsApp number of a girl named Chandre but we never spoke because the number just goes to voicemail, the other people said they went through the same thing.
“I also saw that the Facebook post about the house was deleted.
“We went to the police to lay a case but because we gave the money to them willingly, they said it’s not really a case, we must go to the small claims court, but people need to be aware of this type of thing.”
Ansie Opperman, spokesperson for Gordon’s Bay Tourism, confirmed the organisation has spent months searching for the people behind the scam.
“These people steal the pictures from our advertisements and they soema gooi a package together with cheap prices.
“Heading into the festive season, we know people are desperate to get a holiday house and the current financial situation does not help because they go for the cheapest option but you have to do your homework,” says Opperman.
“If the place does not have a website and the price seems too good to be true, then you have to be suspicious.
“We encourage people to get in touch with us before making any sort of deposit.”
When the Daily Voice attempted to call Chandre on the number provided, the phone rang but wasn’t answered.
Voicemail messages and WhatsApp messages also went unanswered.