One of my acquaintance introduced me to her friend named "Ashish Sharma" as an employee of Sterling Holidays. Ashish claimed to have some exciting travel vouchers using which he could offer me heavily discounted holiday packages. Over the period of 1 month, I paid him few lacs, and he sent me Air tickets and Hotel booking confirmations over email for the trip that I was planning with my friends and wife.
I cross verified the tickets and booking on airlines and hotel websites and found them genuine, so I paid the package cost in advance.
But as the travel date approached near, a travel agent contacted me and told that he has booked some airlines ticket in my name on the request of Ashish. The agent complained to me that he had not received the due amount for tickets and that Ashish had sent some deceptive Bank transaction documents and did not honour his dues. Ashish would constantly make false promises that he would pay agents on a certain date but he never actually did so.
Suspiciously, I called all the hotels & agents through whom he made the bookings and learnt that everything he booked so far was on credit, eventually when the journey date arrived all my bookings were cancelled.
Since then , Ashish has been avoiding my calls. He kept the entire money with himself, and even the travel agents who had to cancel all the tickets had to bear the loss of cancellation fees.
Digging further, I came across more such customers with whom Ashish had played the same trick. He would pester you by calling constantly, unless you agree to take his deal, then he would somehow get the tickets booked on credit by some random travel agents and on the pretext of those bookings he would take the advance money from you. And then simply avoid the calls from customer and travel agents both and run away with the money.
I briefly talked to a Police inspector about this once, but did not receive any effective response. I am not sure what is the best recourse now !