A group of at least 100 school-leavers were left stranded over the weekend after realising they'd been victims of a Plett Rage accommodation scam.
The annual festival runs from 02 – 09th December 2016 and sees around 10 000 matric pupils from across Western Province descend on the southern Cape town.
Those left stranded by the scam were assisted by Plett Tourism and were given alternative accommodation for the duration of the event.
Plett Tourism spokesperson Patty Butterworth says that many students arrived, starting Friday and up until Sunday evening, to find they had been scammed.
Contingency arrangements included pitching up tents, local residents opening their homes and accommodation discounts from bigger establishments.
Students were scammed out of thousands of rands by a property management company they used online, and the police believe it to be one individual behind the operation.
We estimate between R10 000 - R15 000 per student.— Patty Butterworth, Plett Tourism spokesperson
Butterworth explains that the man in question has fled the town and is apparently on the run from authorities.
He's left the town. He did have several outstanding cases against him.— Patty Butterworth, Plett Tourism spokesperson
She says other families that have planned holiday trips over the festive season may have also fallen victim to the online scam.
The website that was up has since been taken down. He's not answering his cellphone and unfortunately, other families who booked their December holiday may be scammed as well.— Patty Butterworth, Plett Tourism spokesperson
Butterworth advises that the man cannot be named at this stage, but his website and company was called "Ethos Travel Accommodation."
Other victims are urged to come forward if they have been scammed, as a police investigation gets underway.
Plett Tourism will release a statement some time this week.
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