MANILA – The Baguio City government on Tuesday warned students and tourists to be way of possible accommodation scams in the city.
According to the city's public information office, it has received several reports on alleged scams by individuals pretending to be owners of local accommodation establishments.
“There's a scam going on regarding boarding places here in Baguio. A number of students had been to our home saying they paid reservation fee for boarding. Apparently, the perpetrator posted the photo of the facade of our house,” the complainant told Felipe Puzon, Baguio City's executive assistant.
A student complainant also said she had already sent a downpayment of P1,000.
“P1,000 lang iyon pero malaki na for us students and mukhang di po talaga siya scammer at first kasi even though nakapag-down na kami, hindi niya kami, binlock and still nakikipag-cooperate pa rin siya until nandoon na iyong friend namin sa place, hindi na siya sumasagot," she said.
Similar incidents have also been reported by tourists looking for places to stay for their Baguio vacation.
After sending the reservation fee or downpayment, the scammers blocked the victims’ social media accounts.
The city government advised students and tourists to be more cautious with the persons they are transacting with before giving any payment.
The students were advised to negotiate with the owners of the establishments personally.
If an in-person negotiation is not possible, they can do verifications by calling the Permits and Licensing Division at (074) 619-3184 to confirm the names of registered owner/s and their contact numbers.
For tourists, the City Tourism Operations Office advised visitors to transact only with accommodation establishments (AEs) listed under visita.baguio.gov.ph.
They may also call City Tourism Operations Office’s through the following hotlines: (074) 446-2009; 0956 572 9097; 0956 572 9093; and 0956 572 9094.
—report from Mae Cornes
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