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Teenagers scammed out of R1 million in Plett Rage Scam

By Alina Hardcastle

According to reports, approximately 100 matriculants were scammed out of around R1 million after an accommodation booking proofed to be a sham. The matriculants arrived in Plettenberg Bay last week for the annual Matric Rage celebration only to find the accommodation they thought they’d booked was already occupied.

The school leavers were sold fictitious accommodation through www.ethosholidays.co.za and www.aiea.co.za. Plett Tourism spokesperson, Patty Butterworth, estimates that R1 million has been pocketed through the dubious deal.

Butterworth informed us that those who have fallen victim to the accommodation swindle have been rehoused, at no cost to themselves. She explains that the town responded generously when it found out about the scam. “Pletternberg Bay residents had made rooms in private houses available at no cost; and accommodation establishments offered discounted rates (paid by Plett Tourism or through donations from the public).”

Plett Rage organisers assisted in adding 30 additional tents at a local camp site, free of charge. They stated: “We’re in the process of assisting all students that have been scammed, with free accommodation at Rage Village that has pre-pitched Glamping (glamorous camping) tenting options with mattress; all you need to do is bring your own bedding.”

Charges have been laid with South African Police Service (SAPS). Butterworth says that Plett Tourism deeply regretted the scam, and urges holiday makers to ensure that the business which accommodation is booked through is legitimate. If you’re uncertain, then check to see if the letting agent is registered with Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).

Herald Live reported that a search has been launched for alleged con artist, Rick Havemann. Plett ragers, parents and Plett residents claim that Havemann acted as a rental agent for some of Plett’s popular establishments.

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