Travel hacking is not a new phenomenon to restaurant owners and other establishments that cater to tourists. However, as more and more people get involved in the act, it is important for business owners to familiarize themselves with this, if it is used as Ethical or Unethical way of Hacking. That way, they may know what measures to put in place to prevent themselves from falling victim to such a sinister intent. They may also make their hotels, lodges and resorts safer, better places for their customers to stay. In this post, you will read about a couple who tried scamming, or as they call it, ‘travel hacking’ their way through the Philippines. Hopefully, you will learn a few things from how they conducted their plan that will help you keep a watchful eye, whether you are a fellow traveler or a local restaurateur.
How unethical Travel Hacking/Scam Works
For those who are new to the term travel hacking the fraudulent way, here is a brief overview of how it works. Typically, the scammers involved take a meal or enjoy a visit to a tourist spot.
They then engage in an incident which results in them not having to pay for their meal or stay. In this incident, the couple in question stayed at the highly rated and popular beach hotel and restaurant in Boracay, Philippines. 31-year-old Carmen Acosta and her boyfriend, 42-year-old Matthew Allen Davenport, both Americans, had arrived and stayed at the hotel in Boracay for at least a
week. However, following the altercation detailed below, the couple refused to cater for their stay at the resort and threatened the said hotel with slander.
Social Media Angle
On Facebook, Acosta alleges that the inhumane treatment of a cat at the restaurant is what made her decide refund their bills leave the resort. The event, which occurred sometime on August 15th, 2017, allegedly involved a security officer putting the cat away by strangling it in front of the couple. However, a police report filed by the hotel showed that something more sinister was going on.
In her Facebook post, Acosta states that she spoke to the manager about the event and demanded an explanation for the same. The response she got was according to her “not seeming to care at all.” She further remarks that the failure to deal with the situation is why she took to social media to shame the hotel. Up to that point, she seems like a person one should empathize with. Who hasn’t been to a hotel and been treated poorly before? However, looking at all the facts gives rise to the conclusion that Acosta’s and her boyfriend’s case was a case of travel hacking gone wrong.
‘Travel Hacking Evil Geniuses’
According to the police report filed by the hotel, Acosta not only confronted the manager about the alleged feline mistreatment but also refused to settle her accommodation account, vandalized the room the couple was staying in and threatened the hotel with a social media vilification campaign. The Facebook post Acosta put on the hotel’s page simply proves that she has begun her slander against it. Additionally, Acosta and Davenport’s joint Instagram account“nosleep_travel”, titled “travel hacking evil geniuses,”hints that the Boracay incident may not be the couple’s first scam. Businesses and travelers should be on the lookout for this couple who spend money they do not have and later find excuses not to pay for services rendered.