The British chocolate expert who was scammed out of 7,000 EUR in a Majorca holiday home rental fraud is hoping others will be luckier when they book their break.
Angus Kennedy and his French wife Sophie, along with their five children, Keiran, 7, George, 13, Ruby, 15, Leon, 18, and Lorna, 19 arrived in Majorca, in the eastern Spanish region of Balearic Island only to find that their holiday rental house was actually owned by a German citizen called Klaus who was living there.
Angus told Central European News (CEN): “We were just looking at websites and this one is a copy of another website. We thought it was kosher. All the reviews were fake as well and it even had a fake trust pilot”.
He said that there were over 750 properties listed on the www.spaindreamvillas.com website, which now appears to be offline, and that they had “even been in touch with people pretending to be agents selling us transfers, extra food, and talking about our children”.
He added: “It was all fake with people pretending to be agents, it was complete hell.
“We arrived on the street with all our bags, the taxi drove away and we had nowhere to say, and the German people that own the house invited us in and it was really surreal.
“We were just thinking we would have to go back to the airport then the door opened and the German owner comes out and says come in and join me.”
The German owner – who wished to remain anonymous but who Angus dubbed ‘Klaus’ – “made us a meal later and gave us a glass of wine. It really felt like we had been rescued from hell”.
The British man, who is a professional chocolate taster and the author of a book called Bitter Sweet, then decided against going straight back to the airport and managed to find a rental in the mountains.
But that proved disastrous too as it had “no heating, no cooker or wifi”. Angus told CEN that there was no phone reception and that they felt trapped.
He said: “We [he and his son] had to walk up a mountain to get phone signal to escape”.
Now they are sitting on the beach waiting while a third property is prepared. He said: “We are sitting on the beach waiting for it to be prepared and have not unpacked yet”.
He also said that once they are properly settled and able to begin enjoying their holiday, he will file a complaint with the authorities.
“It will cost me 9,000 EUR in the end”, he said.
He also said that the Majorca Bulletin told him that the website was going to be fined 40,000 GBP and that they were in touch with the authorities too.
Angus said: “We want to get the story out there to avoid this happening to other people”.