Goodbye Darlings | Influencers dump travel agent who ‘duped’ holiday goers

Moosa has deleted all her social media accounts and her cellphone numbers go straight to voicemail. Photo: https://www.hellodarlings.co.za/

NEWS


Influencers who have worked with on the run Hello Darlings boss have distanced themselves from the company. CEO Tasneem Moosa has been exposed for seemingly scamming her clients with many of them still awaiting their refunds.

Moosa has deleted all her social media accounts and her cellphone numbers go straight to voicemail.

More than 3 000 people have joined a Telegram group to share their experiences with Hello Darlings. Several have confirmed they had opened a criminal case with the police but were still awaiting a case number.

“We have a trip in two weeks and I’ve been nagging, literally nagging, for the tickets and her response was: ‘We not running away’,” Twitter user, Ammarah07 said.

Suhaifa Naidoo tweeted: “We had booked a trip for next week. This has been an absolute shock.”

Naidoo explained that she booked a holiday with Hello Darlings “because her packages were incredibly affordable and I know many people who booked and went on her trips (my mum included). All enjoyed it so much. No issues at all”.

Influencers distance themselves from Hello Darlings

Aqeelah Harron Ally, a digital content creator who worked with Hello Darlings, in a statement distanced herself from the company.

She had been offered discounted travel in exchange for posting an advert about Hello Darlings’ offering.

“To all of those who have been affected by the actions of Tasneem Moosa from Hello Darlings, I cannot imagine the nightmare you are going through.” Ally said:

The events surrounding this incident are shocking and appalling, and I hope justice is served

Ally said she worked with Hello Darlings after seeing positive testimonials from clients.

“As an influencer, I was offered partial free travel last year [not financial compensation] as well as their promotional deals and shared my positive experiences with my followers. Prior to this agreement, my intention was to book and pay for the trip myself and would have therefore recommended it to my followers regardless due to the experience.

“As soon as I heard about Hello Darlings’ customers becoming increasingly frustrated with their service and having really bad experiences, I removed myself from any further dealings with them and ceased any promotion of their services to my audience. I am so sorry to all who have been touched by this cruel behavior,” she said.

Business owner Aisha Baker shared the same sentiments as Ally.

A close friend of Moosa said all attempts to reach the travel agent had been unsuccessful and that neither her family nor friends can confirm her whereabouts.

How not to get scammed

Travel agent Mary Ndlovu said there are steps people can take to avoid being swindled.

  • Check if your travel agent is part of a travel regulatory body:

Accredited agents are affiliated to organizations such as the International Association of Travel Agents Network and the Association of Southern African Travel Agents.

Do a thorough research about their previous clients’ experiences on social media as well as travel websites.

  • Authenticate their business:

It is important that travelers inquire about how long the travel agency has been in business. Have several people contact the agency, asking the same questions.

  • Request to meet up at their offices to make “payment”:

If they can provide a business bank account, you then verify this with the bank.

Find out as much information as you can about the company director. You can do this by contacting them directly.

This story will be updated as and when more information becomes available.


Sthembiso Lebuso

Journalist

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