Dubai Residents Fall Prey to Apollo Times Travel Scam
In a distressing turn of events, Sneha, a resident of Dubai, and her son were thrilled to learn about winning a free gift through a call from Apollo Times Travel. The excitement quickly turned into disappointment as they found themselves ensnared in an aggressive sales pitch at Apollo's Karama office.
To claim the promised gift, Sneha and her family unwittingly succumbed to a time-share package, priced at Dh40,000, offering an all-expenses-paid trip to the US for eight family members. Unfortunately, this enticing offer turned out to be a trap, as the company shut down, leaving victims like Sneha, Sivanagaraja, and others with collective losses exceeding a million dirhams.
The victims shared their harrowing experiences, with individuals like Dipesh, Mohit Rajpal, and others recounting promises of trips to Europe, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Even those aspiring for Umrah, like Mubarak Dastagir Gavandi, were not spared, facing losses of Dh14,000.
Despite attempts to book trips, victims consistently faced excuses such as unavailable slots and the need to wait. Dubai Police have recommended legal action, but the prohibitive costs deter many from pursuing it. The situation is exacerbated by the disappearance of the company's owners and staff.
This incident is part of a growing trend in timeshare scams, with other companies like Royal Palm and Royal Regis Tours and Travels also leaving residents with significant financial losses. The scams typically start with enticing phone calls offering gift hampers and escalate to high-pressure sales pitches for time-share packages.
The victims, now part of support groups, face challenges in recovering their losses, raising questions about accountability and restitution. The plight of individuals like Sneha and her family serves as a cautionary tale about the need for vigilance against such deceptive practices in the travel and tourism industry.