I was contacted by Amitava Basu from Airfares Arena in relation to a quote I had requested on Sulekha. Amitava Basu is a fraud and his modus operandi is to first credentialize himself as an ASTA member, lure innocent people with low airfares, and get them to transfer funds via Western Union or Xoom to a bank account in India. The funds are immediately moved by ATM withdrawals and bank transfers. He has accomplices that handle the funds – Pramod Tiwari and Kishore Kumar, to name a couple of them.
Amitava creates the illusion of a booking to convince us, but in reality, those bookings are not paid for. He calls the airlines, impersonates the passengers, and creates the booking using unauthorized credit cards.
I have been scammed by Amitava Basu and Airfares Arena. If you are reading this before transferring funds to him, please don’t proceed with the funds transfer and stay away from the guy and his agency. If you are reading this after being scammed, take heart in the fact that your moral compass is strong and you are not the one leading a shameful existence by scamming innocent people.
Victim Location 07001
Total money lost $12,000
Type of a scam Travel/Vacations
I submitted travel quote form on Sulekha.com and was contacted by a travel agent to book air tickets to India from New Jersey. He goes by name Sahil Anant or Pramod Tiwari, uses websites www.airfaresarena.com and www.cheapairfaresguru.com, uses fake phone number 442-235-5626 and emails [email protected] and [email protected] He uses IATA # *** and markets his website as www.airfaresarena.com. He also uses TRUE/CCRA code ***. He seems to be using some other agents numbers. After some discussions via WhatsApp chat and voice, we agreed to route options and ticket prices. He asked for Credit Card, License Copy, and first page of Credit Card Statement. He booked the tickets via some middle party transaction using Xoom.com, instead of using credit card directly to charge with the airlines. In reality, it appears that, he only put our tickets on hold with the airlines giving us illusion that it was all set. The airlines canceled it after hold period expired (72 hrs), on top of that he processed same amount twice on the credit card via Xoom.com transactions. At this time we don’t have tickets or refund on our money. Credit card company cannot dispute it because he used cash advance transaction via Xoom. Further digging into the company website indicates that it’s a fake website setup a few weeks ago, the WhatsAapp number is spoofed through Primo app, and he’s likely using photo IDs and his Credit Card statements that people like me provided to scam next victim. We are out $12k.