While many of us are happy about all the deals we scored during this year’s 11.11 sales, we unfortunately can’t say the same for those who were scammed under the fake Laguna Redang Island Resort holiday package.
Now it has been revealed that the individual suspected to be involved in this scam is a Malaysian entrepreneur named Umance. Umance, who usually sells seafood on Facebook, promoted an all-inclusive 3 Days 2 Nights deal at the Laguna Redang Island Resort for a price of RM399.
The promotion was marketed on a now deleted Facebook live stream video, where Umance additionally claimed that two lucky buyers of the holiday package would stand the chance to win a Proton X50 SUV. This deal was so good that it sold over 8,000 holiday packages within two hours, amounting to a total of RM3.5 million!
However, the Laguna Redang Island Resort later confirmed that they did not endorse any such promotion. On 11th November itself, the resort released an official statement warning the public to be aware of these scams and urged consumers who had bought the fake packages to file police reports immediately.
However, Umance took to his Facebook live stream again on 14th November to point out that the holiday package was not a scam after all. In the live video, Umance claimed that due to a “technical error” all the Laguna Redang Island Resort packages would either have to be refunded or replaced with a 3 Days 2 Nights trip at the Tanjung Rhu Resort in Langkawi instead.
The young man also visited Langkawi to share that the Tanjung Rhu 3D2N holiday package will be managed by Fantastic Tour Services. The package will include a Tanjung Rhu Resort room on a twin-sharing basis, 1 day Langkawi road tour, 3 meals for 2 days, and a free luggage bag with every 2 tickets.
However, netizens are speculating if this is another scam on its own, as Fantastic Tour itself is offering a much better deal at only RM244 per person for a holiday at the Tanjung Rhu Resort.
While directly purchasing from Fantastic Tour does not include the free meals and extra goodies, holiday-goers can still save a considerable amount using their promo. This has got us wondering, is Umance using the bait-and-switch scheme?
As explained by Tech ARP, bait and switch scams initially provide customers with an incredibly good offer, which is the “bait”. Later they will discover that their purchases are no longer available. At this point scammers will make a “switch”, where you are persuaded to accept a cheaper replacement instead of a refund or a more expensive alternative.
So, did Umance actually encounter a “technical error” or is this a bait and switch scam? From the way the whole RM399 Laguna Redang Island Resort holiday package played out, it sure seems like what happened was indeed a scam.
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Source: Tech ARP.