A woman has been charged with the fraudulent sale of airline tickets to the Philippines.
Lorna Natalie Arcega, a visitor from the Philippines, was charged with 18 criminal offences for an estimated loss of almost $150,000.
“She was working at travel agencies and using their terminals to charge credit cards… but she wasn’t buying tickets she was forwarding money to the Philippines,” said Detective Constable Giulia Belligero, of the 23 Division Fraud Office. She said that the travel agencies were not aware of Arcega’s activities, which had been going on since December 2014.
Police have said that Arcega was working informally at the travel agency and had quit her job by the time customers started complaining, she then went on to work elsewhere and did the same thing.
So far eight victims have filed formal complaints with the police while the travel agencies believe there may be up to 50 victims. Some of the victims have been reimbursed by credit card companies and some by the travel agency.
Belligero says that if customers are unsure of who they are dealing with when buying tickets it is always a good idea to contact the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) to verify if the agent is approved to sell travel.
“She would often go by the name Natalie and a lot of people knew her in the community,” said Belligero, adding that Arcega will be tried in Canada.
The 38-year-old was charged with:
- Fraud Over $5,000 - X4
- Fraud Under $5,000 - X2
- Utter Forge Document - X 2
- False Pretence Under - $5,000 X2
- False Pretence Over - $5,000 X4
- Unauthorized Use of Credit Card Data - X3
- Possess proceeds of Crime Under $5,000 - X 1