The police summarize the New Year’s weekend in the mountains. Some tourists have been defrauded even twice during one stay.
At the beginning of 2024, tourists who were deceived by people pretending to be owners of apartments, which in reality existed only virtually, reported to the Zakopane police station. We informed about this type of practices in the winter capital of Poland long before Christmas. As it turns out, the time of New Year’s parties is the best time for bold criminals who know exactly how to set a trap for an unaware tourist.
“Virtual accommodation” scams
“Only two days before New Year’s Eve, nearly thirty people reported fraud regarding so-called virtual accommodation to the Zakopane police headquarters,” reports TVN24 Biznes. Virtual accommodation, i.e. an apartment that exists only on the Internet, is still a popular option for robbing tourists in holiday resorts. “Owners” add advertisements for renting premises on free websites and then collect an advance payment or the entire amount for the stay. Once there, tourists learn that the place they have booked does not exist or does not belong to the person they identified with the owner. According to the Zakopane police spokesman, tourists who leave the decision on accommodation until the last minute increase the risk of potential susceptibility to fraud, which “results in disappointment after arriving in Zakopane.”
Woman cheated twice during her stay
When we realize that we have been deceived, we often try to find another place in a hurry. “One lady was cheated twice in this way,” said Asp. staff. Roman Wieczorek. To avoid similar situations, make reservations only on verified websites and check the opinions of previous guests of the guesthouse. If an object has few of them, it may arouse our suspicions. If possible, try to choose payment only after arrival, although this option is not always available during the high season.