Students, tourists warned of accommodation scams

Students, tourists warned of accommodation scams

The city government has cautioned students and tourists to be doubly careful in their accommodation transactions in the city as more persons report of being scammed by unscrupulous persons posing as owners of accommodation establishments and even plain residential houses.

A concerned homeowner in the city on Aug. 8 alerted the office of Mayor Benjamin Magalong that her residence had been used by a poseur who victimized unsuspecting students in need of boarding and lodging facilities for their face-to-face classes.

“There’s a scam going on regarding boarding places here in Baguio.  A number of students had been to our home saying they paid a reservation fee for boarding.  Apparently, the perpetrator posted the photo of the facade of our house,” the complainant told the mayor’s Executive Asst. V Felipe Puzon.

Similar instances had also been reported by tourists looking for places to stay for their vacation in the city. 

According to the City Tourism Operations Office, most of the victims negotiated with persons who use downloaded photos and information of legitimate accommodation establishments (AEs) who pretend to be co-owners or agents of these AEs.

After sending the reservation fee or downpayment, the scammers blocked the victims’ social media accounts. 

The city government advised both groups to be doubly wary with the persons they are transacting with before agreeing to the deal or giving any payment.

“Make sure that you are transacting with the owners or owner-authorized agents of the establishments and not with poseurs,” they were told.

For students, they were advised to negotiate with the owners of the establishments personally and onsite.  If not, they can do verifications by calling the Permits and Licensing Division at 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

“Before sending your downpayment, you may call our 24/7 hotline (074) 446-2009 to verify if the person that you are transacting with is really affiliated with legitimate AEs. We will coordinate with your chosen AE.  You may also call or text the following contact numbers: 0956 572 9097 (7am – 4pm); 0956 572 9093 (2pm -11pm); 0956 572 9094 (10pm -7am). – Aileen P. Refuerzo