Posts Tagged ‘scammers’

So yesterday Kelly and I met up to go buy our tickets to Thailand. I’m not sure if I’ve said it before but I’m not terribly interested in going to that part of the world. I don’t know why. However, while waiting at Student Flights for Kelly I was staring at all the brochures and the ones for Thailand looked unbelievably gorgeous! So now I’m all excited. Ah ha ha. I am lame.

So before our meet-up, I loaded up my pre-pay credit card that I bought online (called the Canvas Pre-Paid Visa – it looked legit so I paid the $20 for this card) with $1200 AUD. I realize now I probably could have just paid debit but… I’m dumb, clearly. I’ve used this credit card for online purchases before with no problems. I got it because I figured it would be cheaper in the long-run to use this for all my ticket purchases from Australia instead of emailing myself money from my Australia to my Canadian bank account and then using my Canadian Visa card. I’d get doubly charged for conversion rates if I did it that way.

So we get there and lo! and behold! my Visa will not work on their credit card machine. And the problem with this is? You can’t take your money off that card once you load it. So I had $1200 on that Visa. There’s no way I will be able to spend that much money in my remaining time in Australia. I call the number on the back of the card.

So it costs $1 to access my information. I grumble but accept only to get a list of options I don’t want. No option of talking to a representative. I press 0 just in case. Ah, suddenly I’m in line to talk to someone. I wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, they tell me it is $3 to talk to a representative. Do I want to do so? Yes. By this point I’m already unimpressed with the service.

So I get some woman. She tells me there’s nothing wrong with my card. I insist there is. She tells me I’m wrong. She tells me she can’t help me. She tells me to go buy somewhere else. Uh, no. I have a deposit on this flight. I’m not going anywhere else.

During this exchange, the lovely travel agent, Lenka, was calling up their bank and found out their terminals wouldn’t accept these kinds of cards, as they aren’t as secure as regular credit cards. So I tell the woman on the phone, “Oh, she says their terminals doesn’t accept this credit card.”

“That’s what I told you before! It is the terminal’s fault.” So. Rude.

“So can I get my money back then? I want my money refunded.”

“I am not sure if we can help you, m’am. I will put an enquiry into the concerns desk but you will have to call back in 2-3 business days to see if the request will be approved.” Another $4 phone call. Great.

“So what are the chances I will get my money back?” There is no way in hell I am paying for this ticket without knowing for sure that I will get this money back.

“I cannot comment on this situation at present, m’am. You will have to call back in 2-3 business days to find out if you will receive a refund. I cannot help you at this point.”

At this point, I hang up on her. I don’t know if I’ve ever had someone so rude on the phone before. It wasn’t just what she said but the tone of her voice. I am so frustrated. It hasn’t been the best week and I am tired and emotionally exhausted. I start crying outside the travel office. How embarrassing. I cry more because I don’t want to cry and this is awkward. There are people walking around me as I stand there trying to get my act together. Kelly comes out. She’s being sweet but I feel even more embarrassed that she’s trying to calm me down.

A man in the take-out restaurant next door sees me and insists I get some free gelato. I refuse and try to wipe away my tears. He insists and Kelly pushes me over. I get mango and chocolate. Well, that’s nice. At least Australians are nice.

I go back into the travel office, feeling awkward and embarrassed. The agents at Student Flights are super nice to me. They ask if my card has a pin number and I realize that I can treat my pre-pay Visa card like an ATM card. I had forgotten about that. So I whip out my tried and true Scotiabank Visa, charge it and pay for my trip. I’ll have to send myself the money in Canada but at least I get Money-Back Rewards on my Canadian Visa.

I’m withdrawing all my money from that stupid Canvas card and CUTTING IT UP into a tiny million little pieces. I get bad service, bad service I PAID FOR, and you will never get my business again. And I will tell whomever I can that Canvas pre-pay credit card is so not worth their time or money!

The funny thing is, I had Googled “canvas prepaid visa card scam” before to see if it was a legit card and wish I had come across a blog post like this before I bought it. I hope I save someone from this mistake by publishing it here.



Read Full Post »

Posted by: Emma

So Kelly and I have been trying to find a place to live before we actually touch down in Sydney. It’s a little rough out there trying to find a place, considering I have no idea where any of these locations are and we want to find a fully furnished place. But we’re plodding through ugly Kijiji-like sites looking at places and contacting realtors. So far, nothing has come up but I’m content to wait until we actually get there.

And this is why: Recently I contacted someone off Gumtree – a Craigslist/Kijiji type of site that has rental listings. They replied with several photographs of the place and a long-winded explanation of why they’re renting out this place. Blah, blah, blah, it’s my late husband’s place, I’m in Texas, blah, blah, blah, looking for someone to care for it, blah blah blah, rent not really the issue, etc.

So I look at it again. I go to Google Maps. I check out the location. Wow! Right in Sydney Central. And only looking for $1400 AUD for a 2 bedroom with 1 1/2 bath? That seems like a pretty good deal! I check out Google Street View and yep, it looks like a real apartment building. But still, the e-mail seemed… off. I Google her e-mail address.  Nothing pops up. Ok, maybe this is good. Then I decide to Google her name.

Oh. There we go. I find this post: http://parishousingscamwatch.wordpress.com/an-unfortunate-story/

If you scroll down the post, not only do you see the EXACT same e-mail she sent me (with a few minor changes), but you see commentors saying, “Wow, this Amandine Briseno person scammed me too! Beware!”

So, I’m glad I checked. And really, I think this is another indication we should wait until we get to Sydney so we can actually physically check these places out before we hand over money. Aussie lesson #1 right here for you.

For anyone Googling, please do not get a place from Amandine Briseno, email: ladybriseno.tx1969@gmail.com or with the following e-mail text:

Good to read from you on your interest on my apartment, which i am leasing out for rent

Presently the apartment is still very much available for rent.Just to give you a little  low down about the apartment.I resided in the apartment with my only daughter melissa and my late husband whom i inherented the apartment from, before we relocated my country in United State. Due to my new job offer at the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center- Waco, Texas . And also i am about to get married to my fiance in less than three months from now.

The flat is up for a total of 1400aud per month including ((hydro eletricity, gas and water bills) which i also think is fair enough considering the location. I just need someone with an open heart, love and clean to occupy the apartment and put all my worries off concerning the maintenance of the apartment for now. Since i am not residing there for now.

The accomodation comprises of 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, living room. These are some of the measurement of the apartment.Reception room  17’0″ 16’0″ ( 5.18m x 4.88m ,  Kitchen  13’0″ x 11’0″ ( 3.96m x 3.35m ), Bedroom 1  13’0″x 11’7″ ( 3.96m x 3.53m ),  Bedroom 2  12’10” x 10’5″ ( 3.91m x 3.18m ),  Bathroom  6’10” x 5’10” ( 2.08m x 1.78m ), Guest WC  5’0″ x 2’10” ( 1.52m x 0.86m .Facilities and electonics like satellite TV and internet connection,DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system, elevator. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, a refrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine.

Also the keys to the apartment are right here with me. Which i can be posted to you after all necessary agreement has be reached and signed into lease. Also i will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue , but your absolute maintenance of the apartment, because that is the only valuable property my late husband left behind, and it also took him so much time and money to put all those facilities in place, so i wouldn’t want an violation of my property if finally rented by you.

The Apartment is situated at  23 Shelley St, 3rd floor unit 5, Darling Harbor, NSW 2000 , Australia. Directly across the harbour, around there are many supermarkets, bakeries,pharmacies, cafés, shops, and restaurants.

The minimum lease term is three months, but a maximum of two year with a possibility of extension.

Kind Regards,

Read Full Post »