100+ victims in travel agency fraud case

There are more than 100 mostly Chinese victims of a travel agency fraud in San Francisco.
April 2, 2014 8:47:15 PM PDT
There are more than 100 mostly Chinese victims of a travel agency fraud in San Francisco. Police expect that number to grow, along with the losses, now in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It happened six years ago in Chinatown -- more than 100 mostly elderly Chinese clients defrauded when they bought fake tickets to China.

Now it's happening again.

"Of course, very upset," one victim, who asked not to be identified, said. "I cried. So upset, the whole week after I know they closed the business."

The woman is just one of more than 100 people who have filed reports with police. The losses are estimated to be more than $260,000 so far.

San Francisco Police Capt. Joe McFadden says their main suspect is Raymond Siu. He abruptly shut down his Chinatown office about a month ago. McFadden says it was an all cash business.

"They were offering tickets to China without going through a broker and they weren't legitimate tickets when these people tried to turn them in," he said.

The victim that spoke to ABC7 News bought a 10-day package for two to Hong Kong, airline tickets and hotel included.

"I paid $4,000 for my trip to Hong Kong in June but the travel agency just took away my money and disappeared," she said.

Afterwards, she did have some suspicions that something was wrong.

"The travel agency didn't even issue a ticket to me," she said. "They just gave me a receipt, an itinerary of the trip. And then they told me everything was OK."

A couple of days later, the travel agency shut its doors and there was no trace of the business.

"The website is gone," she said. "I called the 1-800 number, nobody answered."

McFadden says this type of fraud is all too common in ethnic communities.

"The suspects prey on vulnerable people vulnerable to it, that only speak Chinese or don't have the ability to go elsewhere," he said.

Police say if you're a victim, go your nearest police station and file a report.


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