A reservation confirmation that Vi Tran has sent to a client
Police in New South Wales on Thursday said they are looking into a massive air ticket scam in which a Vietnamese woman has been accused of swindling more than A$400,000 (US$280,000) from hundreds of Vietnamese students in Australia.
Initial investigation found that the woman, known as Vi Tran, cheated at least 317 Vietnamese students, who wanted to buy Vietnam Airlines tickets to return home for the coming Tet Lunar New Year holidays.
Tran offered to help them book the tickets at cheap prices. Each student would receive a reservation code from Tran after sending money to her account.
However, Tran allegedly canceled the bookings soon later, before the tickets were officially issued.
Many students in Melbourne and Sydney were denied when trying to check in at airports.
Mai Hoang, one of the victims, said she had paid a total of AU$8,000 to buy tickets for herself and her family. She only realized that she was scammed one day before her travel.
Tran has reportedly closed her Facebook account and turned off her mobile phone after information about her scam was spread among the overseas students’ community.
It is believed that Tran started her business last year, offering Vietnam Airlines tickets at lower prices than usual. Her clients said they know nothing else about her besides her name and bank accounts.
Police said they are searching for her and finding out if she has any accomplice.