This holiday fraud prank is all the festive-season paranoia you don't need!

2017-11-10 13:38 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Picture: Twitter

Cape Town - Only a few thing are considered regrettable after a night of boozing, but waking up to an unknown bill of close to R100k surely does take the cake.

According to a Metro report, this is exactly what happened to William Armstrong after he accidentally lost his driver’s license somewhere on the streets of Cheltenham, England.

Luckily for him, someone was nice enough to turn in the ID book instead of actually taking advantage of him - however, the good Samaritans thought it was the perfect opportunity to play a rather hilarious prank on Armstrong.

ALSO SEE: R400k hotel payment scam: Risks of travel fraud increasing - expert

After admitting to a rather boozy evening, Armstrong says he received a letter from the Flight Centre travel agent revealing how he had, presumably when heavily intoxicated, went on a spree and booked a first class flight from London to the Maldives to spend a week on his own at the Indian Ocean paradise.

The full itinerary also detailed how he would be flying lavishly with Etihad Airways in December, via Abu Dhabi.

The hefty fake bill, which totaled up to £5 000 (about R94 250 at R18.85/£), read "Thank you so much for popping in the other day. We certainly appreciate your business and hope your [sic] beginning to get excited about your upcoming first class flights to the Maldives.

“Please keep in mind, balance is due in full on Friday, November 10 at 12.05pm.”

SEE: Social media travel scam alert: 5 tips on how not to get snagged

Of course, not intending to give the poor guy a heart attack, the Flight Centre staff also included a note that stated the bill was just a joke, adding that hopefully he’ll use their travel service next time he plans a trip. 

The note read: “George, We’re just kidding. We’ve found you're [sic] driving license (enclosed) outside our shop and thought you might need it! Just make sure you consider us for your next holiday. Take care!”

Armstrong later revealed the prank on Twitter, where he posted, with photos of the contents of the letter saying, “So I was pretty drunk the other night and I lost my ID, then this turns up…”

With no hard feelings, Armstrong then later posted the next day a picture with Steve, the Flight Centre employee responsible for the joke. “Here’s the man himself, thank you Steve!” he wrote.

Steve replied by saying, “You’re welcome. That’s how we roll.”

Unfortunately, such stories are not as uncommon as you might think, so for the upcoming holidays, it is advised to stay alert, ensure you keep you ID and passport in check and be aware of any situations that could lead to fraud or you and your family being scammed.

SEE: Tourists increasingly targeted in ATM scams in Cape Town

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