Football Tour Scam: Victims Lose Over B30m in Fake Package Tour

football scam

Scammers Exploit Football Fanatics

At least 10 people have fallen victim to a fake package tour scam, losing a total of B30 million after being lured by the promise of attending a football match in England. The scammers organized the tour to see Liverpool and Arsenal face off, attracting their victims through a YouTube channel featuring celebrities as presenters.

Victims Left in Dire Financial Straits

According to Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn, many victims are now in severe financial trouble after investing their life savings into the tour. He said similar scams involving bogus travel trips have been rampant since border reopenings following the pandemic.

Victim Shares Story of Deception

Pallop Chuniam, one of the victims, approached the deputy national police seeking help. He recounted how he discovered the trip was a hoax and that attempts to get a refund were unsuccessful. Pallop mentioned a promotional campaign that attracted him to the package tour. The offer allowed him and three others to travel on the same trip for the price of three, but they needed to pay in advance in full.

Pallop said he was cheated out of B450,000, while other victims paid varying amounts for the fraudulent tour. He identified the tour organizer as “Mr. Suksan,” whom he became acquainted with through the YouTube channel.

Victims Left in the Dark as Travel Date Approached

Pallop sent the money to the tour organizer in November last year, with the tour scheduled to take place from April 6-13. However, as the date approached, he did not hear any updates from the organizer. It wasn’t until after the travel date had passed that the victims demanded a full refund. Although Pallop could maintain communication with the organizer via a Line Chat app, the organizer refused to refund him.

Police Investigation and Tour Organizer’s Arrest

Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn confirmed that the tour organizer has been arrested. However, it remains unclear how the B30 million can be recouped to compensate the victims. The police warn the public to be cautious when booking trips, as such scams have become increasingly rife since border reopenings.

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