A.K.A. the night I almost got scammed. Or “I-can’t-believe-I-almost-fell-for-this!” What started out as a nice family dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe in DFC, ended up in giving my contact details to a scammer. We were on our way to Hyper Panda when this guy at a kiosk started waving to the Little One then engaged us in a little game. He dared us to name 5 arab countries ending in the letter “n”. For some reason I started answering! HA! (I only got 3 though and with a little help too!) Then this guy said because we were good sports, he will give us a nice gift. “How about a free trip to Maldives? Or Malaysia?” Then he started explaining that they are a tourism company called Vacation International and he’s from (somewhere. I can’t remember coz my brain was stuck at “free trip” and “Maldives”.) He showed us valid identification and he seems legit…he’s got a kiosk in the mall, right?“So what’s the catch? Why are you giving away free vacation?”“No catch. This is a promotion. I only have 10 invites and these are the last two. You seem to be a nice family so I chose you. But you have to promise me to come to my office to claim your prize.” Then he gave us his office address and mobile number. We’ll just have to watch their presentation for about 90 mins, with free food and drinks. It’s going to be a big event, he says. “No raffles, no draw. I will give you your prize after the presentation.”So his name is Amr. His number is 052 9246023. The office is at 21st Century Tower, Office 501. (seems legit right?!)
He made us fill up a small form (name, number .. etc) then congratulated us once again, shook our hands and made us promise to arrive on time. He really was a good talker!
As we were going home, I have this nagging feeling that I just couldn’t shake off. I tweeted the experience and luckily I got some info! I started consulting my good friend, Mr. Google, and found out that this company is a sham. They pretend to be a tourism establishment and entice you with gifts/prizes.
Then once in their offices, they make you watch a presentation and compel you to join their time share scheme!
I still have no clue how it works or what time shares are but after reading this article from Gulfnews… I don’t ever want to be near this guy or hear from him ever again.
I really can’t believe I almost fell for this! Imagine people swiping their cards and giving away AED 16,000 to AED 22,000. I knew it was too good to be true … I knew that there must be something more than what he’s saying. I just can’t believe that I ignored the signs!
Why do I say that this is a scam? Well, he said that he will give us free trip right? But reading the article, its clear that there are no free trips…no gifts. Nothing. Instead, you will have to pay and join the scheme. That, to me, is already a big FAT lie!
Be careful, folks! There are lots of scammers around!