Hotel refunds victim of tour scam

Hotel refunds victim of tour scam

SINGAPORE - Madam S.Y. Tan believed she had already paid for her family's recent National Day weekend stay at the five-star W Singapore-Sentosa Cove hotel, having given the money upfront to a tour agent.

But after checking out, the hotel, which never received the money from the agent, deducted more than $7,000 from her husband's credit card.

The hotel has since decided to reverse the charge, after finding out that the couple were victims of a scam. While expressing relief that she has the money back, Madam Tan, a 40-year-old business executive, said she was "not quite happy" that deductions could be made from a credit card without the owner being first notified.

"We could have been very embarrassed had we continued to use the card, as the deduction almost reached the credit card ceiling of $8,000."

A police spokesman confirmed they are investigating after Madam Tan lodged a report against the agent, who is also being probed for another alleged travel scam involving more than $20,000.

It was through the agent that Madam Tan had booked three rooms and a suite for family members in August.

Recounting what happened, she said that she was told by hotel staff when checking in that, based on her booking, payment would be received from the agent. At the same time, details of her husband's credit card were given to the hotel to pay for any incidental expenses incurred during the stay.

When checking out three days later, she again confirmed with hotel staff that no deductions for accommodation would be made since it had already been paid for. But a month later she learnt the hotel had deducted $7,294.

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