Mother-Son Pair Arrested Over 3,200 Hotel Booking Cancellations in Japan
A mother-and-son pair in the Kansai region arrested on suspicion of obstructing business at hotels allegedly cost accommodation facilities about $1 million in damages after they made around 3,200 booking cancellations in one year.
Yukiko Kishida, 51, and her son Yukihiro, 31, were arrested last month for allegedly repeatedly ditching reservations made through the Japanese online booking site Ikyu.com. The pair is also suspected of acquiring a large amount of rewards points, worth about $22,000 and using them to stay at different hotels.
Using fake names and contact details, Kishida and her son created a large number of accounts for use on Ikyu.com and booked stays across the country. Per Japan Times, Ikyu customers usually get back 1% of accommodation fees in rewards points, and can get up to 20x back in points for same-day bookings. The pair is suspected of making false same-day reservations to acquire the rewards points. They rely on hotels not notifying the booking site of a cancellation, so they still receive points even if they don’t show up.
And speaking of hotel scams, a group of people posing as the Wu Tang Clan were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft after allegedly scamming multiple Georgia hotels out of tens of thousands of dollars.