Scammers and fraudsters have been around since man was able to utter his first words. They’re a fact of life that will never be erased, and consumers always have to be cautious when making purchases of any kind. The Okada Manila in the Philippines has become a target of unscrupulous persons who are trying to take advantage of the desperate need of some to get away for a while and are selling hotel stays at the casino resort. The only problem is that they’re completely fake and will only result in the purchaser losing his or her money.
The Okada Manila issued a warning that it has found unauthorized sales tied to the property, explaining, “It appears that certain persons are selling, reselling or offering hotel room packages at Okada Manila through online platforms or social media channels without our authority.” It didn’t mention any website or agency by name, only specifying that it won’t honor any of the packages that travelers try to redeem at the property. It added, “We advise the public that they can reserve rooms through the Okada Manila reservation system or reputable booking platforms.”
The resort, which is owned by Tiger Resort Leisure and Gaming and its parent, Universal Entertainment Corp., began operating at full capacity in October following a lengthy shutdown caused by COVID-19. Only a month earlier, it had received permission to operate at 30% capacity, and the return to normal operations would allow it to begin the long recovery process. The Philippines had witnessed extreme quarantine periods because of the global pandemic and the slow return to normalcy has possibly led some consumers to forget the basics regarding purchasing goods and services from legitimate entities.
The hotel stays aren’t the only items being offered through false channels. Okada Manila has its own line of scents, or perfumes, and fake versions of these have reportedly begun to make their way through consumer markets, as well. The venue doesn’t offer the scents for resale, and explains, “The hotel scent we use is made exclusively for Okada Manila and is not sold to the general public. The use of Okada Manila’s brand and trademarks for commerce without our authority or consent constitutes trademark infringement under the law. We will take the necessary legal action against violators.”
Universal has had a rough year so far because of COVID-19. For the first nine months of 2020, according to a filing made in October, net sales for the company’s casino resort activity plummeted 58.6% compared to the same period last year, reaching only $198 million. That led to an operating loss of just over $73 million, which was on top of the $17.65-million loss in the first nine months of 2019.