An encounter with a rude scammer

When issues are starting to pile and mess up, some forces emerge to get me totally pissed off. Yes, this is another bad story at the workplace. 😀

I just received a call from a lady who introduced herself as PRECIOUS GONZALES. She informed me that I am entitled for a free stay at any Crown Regency Hotel in the Philippines. I can claim my certificates for free stay after answering a series of questions. Ah, as expected, disguised freebies in exchange for customer information. These are marketing strategies implemented by companies in order to establish a customer data bank. Later on these information can be used for Data Mining and Market Research.

If my personal information will be exclusively used for Market Research, it would be fine. However, we can’t underestimate the presence of identity theft. In effect, I am very reluctant in providing information from unexpected calls from companies I have never transact with.

I didn’t respond to the questions posted by Precious. I instead asked for the person who referred me to their company. Apparently, this Precious Gonzales cannot provide an answer. She said that it was impossible to track the names of the person who submitted my name. Sorry, but I don’t believe that alibi.

I doubted the real objective of the call so I courteously denied answering Precious’ questions. I asked for her number instead and told her that I will return a call in case I become interested to her offer. That Precious Gonzales gave me this number

(632) 5057146

I verified Crown Regency’s office numbers through their websites and true enough… The call is not connected from the company. Was I scammed? Was I almost a subject of identity theft? Or was the call only provided by a secondary marketing company? If such was the case, then this Precious Gonzales should not introduce herself as someone from Crown Regency Hotel.

And before I forget, did i mention that this Precious Gonzales said something that pissed me off. Before she ended our conversation, I heard her saying “libre na nga ang arte pa.” (I’m already giving you a freebie yet you are still so choosy.)

You called me choosy? Well, you just gave me a good reason to report you and your alleged company to the management of Crown Regency.

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18 comments

  1. Very smart, Diane. If I had received that call from Precious herself, I would have generously accommodated her as I’m exactly what you can call very gullible. This should serve as a warning – oh wait, it already is. Glad I came upon this post. 😀

  2. Great thing I googled Club Ultima before giving any info and it led me to your site. A Lorna Diaz just called and was telling me that I got free accommodations at Crown, and I almost believed her. Whew. Thanks for this post.

  3. Hi, too bad I was able to provide some of the info’s that she needs. I feel unsafe.. DO you have any idea what to do? 😦

  4. Hi! we have same experience just yesterday and i would like to share some..there was really a certificate given after meeting them and hearing their proposals about having good vacation stuff for a lesser expenses (not bad but really too good to be true!) over dinner. We keep on asking how much is the membership fee but the guy presenting to us was making it a suspense saying that their manager was the one who have the rights to disclose the amount.

    Moment of truth! The manager came after the presentation almost whispering to us the membership fee (so that other clients may not hear it) which costs almost half a million (for a lifetime membership) that can be payed in four-year term after giving them a certain down payment right that moment. We became frank about not being able to afford that membership and was decided not to join them but then again they gave us their least option, now this costs almost 100k membership fee which is good for 8 years consumption with the same privileges from the first one.

    After another computation of that second option, my friend was convinced to became a member. The transaction was taking over but then there is an important thing missing, my friend really didn’t have cash on her bag (which was intentional as she was advised that there is no need for her to bring cash). So for the deal to be closed, the money is needed, the manager told us that the guy who presented to us can pick it up on our house that night!!! (They were that eager to have that cold cash from us huh, but then something bugs me about that idea!).

    Since my friend have to withdraw the said amount from her passbook, she asked if the fee could be sent the next day. They agreed and insisted that the guy will still pick it up since he was residing on the same area with us. It was really not a good idea for me that the guy will meet us or my friend to pick up the money. (I believe that any transaction involving money should be always done over the counter of the authorized personnel for proper documentation specially for big amount, unless i am mistaken.) So I asked the manager if they have their bank account wherein we could just deposit it so that their employee will not have the hassle of travelling around the area.

    After all of the negotiation and hand shakings’, the certificate was served. Folded neatly and sealed in an envelope.

    Thinking it was not a scam? Here is the thing! When my friend reached home, she checked the certificate and was alarmed to learned that to be able to avail the said accommodation, she have to pay 3k for the said “gift” which is non-refundable! What the..?? We tried calling and texting the guy who presented to us to confirm the said note on the certificate but he is “not available or is out of coverage area”.

    Good thing that we know how to read and give time reading such as terms and conditions so that we could avoid those unnecessary scenarios.

    Also, it is really an advice to everyone not to bring cash or even credit cards when meeting up someone or something like this! =)

  5. Hi, thank you all. Since yesterday we have been getting calls from a man from this “Club Ultima” telling us that we have won hotel accommodation and now we know this is a scam. We were nearly taken in by their freebies until my husband said “Their is no such thing as a free lunch”! We did a bit of research on the Internet and came across your story and boy, am I glad we did? The number of the man who called us is 09188500012 and the addres is: Club Ultima Company and Crown Regency Hotel Office, Technopark Hotel, Balibago Road Corner, Mitsubishi Greenfield Autopark, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

  6. Thank to all your stories share to other and not be a victim of this scam.a strange caller told me also that i won to their raffle this morning.i think their somethings wrong why he ask me our monthly income of my wife.same cellphone no & place to meet in balibago starosa laguna.thank god i aware this kind of scam.

  7. Hey guys. I just received a call from one of them, and upon searching the web, I found myself here sharing the same experience. Well, upon learning all of the above, hanggang dito na lang sila. After the call, I received a text message:

    Good day! Mr. Ronald (Guest Referral) ! As part of our Promotional Campaign. You’re a candidate to receive a Luxury Hotel Accommodation Gift Certificate for an ULTIMATE VACATION GETAWAY (NO expiration date or Validity Period) in CROWN REGENCY HOTEL. It will be (3)days and (2)nights stay in FuenteOsmeña, Guadalupe or Mactan Cebu City or Agdao Davao. Good for Family Package, (2)adults & (2)kids. (NO FINANCIAL OBLIGATION/NO COMMITENT). 2 to 3days f For more info. /referrals, call or text (02)5056870 / 09273809876 and look for Ms.Gem de los Santos from Club Ultima Philippines And Crown Regency Hotels and Resorts. Thanks and Godbless!

  8. Good thing i was able to searched ds blogged… exactly the same step and scenarios was experienced from them… when i saw ds blogged i then stopped listening from their flowery words

  9. Gosh! I just received the same call but with a different number: 0917 645 2735
    He won’t let me ask questions. When I ask, he won’t answer. He just continues talking like its a memorized script.
    Good thing I already know they’re strategy through a friend.
    Their products are something like accommodation discounts. When you join, you will get discounts. But before you can use the discount, you will spend again. Right? It’s pointless. Its like you just donated a huge amount of your money to that company.

    There are legit deal sites that offers LEGIT DISCOUNT VOUCHERS for travel and accommodations.
    Do not be deceived by their presentation. This is a friendly reminder.

    AND DO NOT. DO NOT GIVE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION LIKE YOUR INCOME, HOME ADDRESS, LANDLINE, BANK ACCOUNT, ETC. TO STRANGERS. If he/she is not a common friend (friend of your friend), then he/she is a stranger.

  10. Ladies and gentlemen thank you for your comments I supposed I’ll be a victim too. This Nov. 2015 Me and my friend went to their office in Makati, after some explaining to us the vacation that you’ll have amounting to 10,000.00 + per year and membership is about half a million, It’s good that me and my friend is not interested in travelling since our offiice a govt. agency travel a lot. So the certificate was given to me, then upon reading it by my officemate my friend noticed that one of the mechanics, your going to pay a booking fee amounting P3,000.00 which is non refundable. Then I was surprised I thought it was free. Then my officemate through internet told me it was a scam. Again thank you thank you. Whoever is the responsible person, not at all times you’re gonna win. God is watching you. Huag nyo ng utuin ang kapwa nyong mga pilipino, ang kakapal nyo talaga, marami na ang naghihirap, ang gobyerno magulo na makikisawsaw pa kau, hindi man ngaun ang panahon na babalikan kau ng mga ginagawa n’yo maaring mga anak nyo o apo n’yo ang magbabayad maawa kau sa mga anak nyo, that is the rule of karma…

  11. Its already 2016 and yet theyre still doing this. Thank u for bloggers like you who are making us aware of such sales tactics that are presented as “freebies”.

    Heres a text sent to me few days ago by this number: +63 916 697 1100

    (Invitation)
    Kindly claim your Privilege Crown Regency Hotel gift certificate.
    Important requirements.
    – present your valid I.D..
    – Kindly finish the Video & Graphics presentation,
    for you to see the complete facilities & amenities, to choose w/c hotels suites your family’s vacation preference, that last for 90mins. Dinner will be served promptly.
    – No obligation upon claiming.
    – when using the gift cert. Food, Airfare & Booking Fee are NOT INCLUDED.

    Schedule:
    Jan.20&21
    Wed. & Thurs. (5pm)

    Office Address:
    AIC Burgundy Emphire tower grnd flr Unit 108 at the back of Robinson Galleria along ADB Ave. corner Garnet St. Ortigas Pasig. Besides 7eleven & Casa Bella. Look for Ms. Ida Lopez our receptionist.
    *Avoid wearing slippers upon claiming.

    See you !

    Invited by : Kurt Chua
    (02)5077348

  12. We have the same experience with them but my husband is so convinced so we gave them 5k as deposit for 20k they are asking and they will collect 5k monthly starting June of this year to complete 30% dowpayment for 200k good for 15 years membership.Advice as what shall we do.We received receipt

    1. We were also paying the same amount to them monthly, apparently they have a different sale strategy selling memberships to people like us, the company is legit as researched, it’s just their selling tactics which is kinda fishy which they will do almost anything just to make you say yes. They already sent us the membership details via email and also with their brochures. Told the wife that she need only to transact in a legitimate business office which was also in ortigas (AIC) apparently. If your willing to shell out 5k a month for the 30% go for it but if your not that convince you just need to go with your gut feeling and say NO. So after much deliberation and a lot of saying no to them (had to drag myself from the office to meet the wife there in AIC) I was giving them the poker face look that I will not in anyway give them a cent that day (Manager keeps insisting that I release a certain amount of money in me at night) we were able to reduce and got a bargain deal just to say yes to their club membership, I ended up giving them 2k that night as I insisted that is the only money that I can give (take it or leave it). We will be testing the GC that they gave next summer in Cebu.. Hopefully If we wer not scammed.

    2. We were also paying the same amount to them monthly, apparently they have a different sale strategy selling memberships to people like us, the company is legit as researched, it’s just their selling tactics which is kinda fishy which they will do almost anything just to make you say yes. They already sent us the membership details via email and also with their brochures. Told the wife that she need only to transact in a legitimate business office which was also in ortigas (AIC) apparently. If your willing to shell out 5k a month for the 30% go for it but if your not that convince you just need to go with your gut feeling and say NO. So after much deliberation and a lot of saying no to them (had to drag myself from the office to meet the wife there in AIC) I was giving them the poker face look that I will not in anyway give them a cent that day (Manager keeps insisting that I release a certain amount of money in me at night) we were able to reduce and got a bargain deal just to say yes to their club membership, I ended up giving them 2k that night as I insisted that is the only money that I can give (take it or leave it). We will be testing the GC that they gave next summer in Cebu.. Hopefully If we were not scammed.

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