Technology: Couple says they were scammed by Dominican casino on resort, bullied into paying $6,500 - PressFrom - Canada
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TechnologyCouple says they were scammed by Dominican casino on resort, bullied into paying $6,500

16:23  17 april  2019
16:23  17 april  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Trouble started when the couple from Holyrood, N.L., headed into the casino at the Hotel Riu Bambu resort This turned out to be $ 6 , 500 Canadian." Ordered to pay by any means necessary. Lush said they also spent a full day at the police station in Punta Cana, where they were put in a queue to

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Couple says they were scammed by Dominican casino on resort, bullied into paying $6,500 The couple hoped to enjoy all the beauty and fun the Dominican Republic has to offer. Instead, they said their trip was ruined.

One minute they were close to winning $100,000, and the next they were at an ATM being ordered by guards to take out thousands of dollars.

Jay Lush and Steve Bungay say their relaxation vacation quickly turned into chaos, as they fell victim to a popular scam at resort casinos in the Dominican Republic.

"You feel safe and you feel secure, and then that's ripped away from you and you're 3,000 miles from home in a country, in a third-world country, where you don't speak the language," Lush told The St. John's Morning Show, from a hotel room in Punta Cana.

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Calgary father charged with leaving child in car for 2 hours outside casino Investigators believe the seven-year-old child had been let in a vehicle outside the casino for about two hours before going inside to look for his father. According to Environment Canada, the low temperature in the city on Sunday was -24 C. When officers arrived at the casino, they were unable to find the child's father right away. The father returned to the casino a short while later, police said, and was arrested. He's since been charged with one count of abandoning a child. His name is not being released to protect the identity of the child. The child was in the care of Alberta Children's Services as of 5:30 p.m.

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Couple says they were scammed by Dominican casino on resort, bullied into paying $6,500© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Jay Lush

Trouble started when the couple from Holyrood, N.L., headed into the casino at the Hotel Riu Bambu resort near Punta Cana.

A woman greeted them at the door, Lush said, and handed them complimentary $25 chips before leading them to a table. Neither man was familiar with the game being played — an eight-ball roulette, which moved quickly and left little time for them to understand the rules.

Bungay sat down at the table, while Lush stood behind him and watched.

"Within about six minutes, he was one point away, they told him, from winning $100,000 and if he kept rolling he was guaranteed to win," Lush said. "At that moment we realized something wasn't right."

The dealer told him the next bet would cost $1,200.

Missing New York couple's bodies may have been found days ago, Dominican Republic officials say

Missing New York couple's bodies may have been found days ago, Dominican Republic officials say Dominican Republic authorities believe two unidentified bodies are those of a missing New York couple, according to National Police Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia. Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle were supposed to return to New York from the Dominican Republic on March 27, said Moore's half-sister, Lashay Turner, who said she reported him missing two days later after the couple didn't return. Duran Mejia said an unconscious woman, who fits the description of Portia Ravenelle, was found on the road to the international airport in Santa Domingo on that day.

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"We kind of panicked and said stop," Lush said. "Immediately they brought Steve over to the cashier and demanded the payment. This turned out to be $6,500 Canadian."

Ordered to pay by any means necessary

They had taken his driver's licence as a form of ID when he sat down at the table, and refused to return it until he paid up, Lush said. Guards surrounded them and escorted them out into the street, to an ATM.

"They demanded we withdraw the money from the bank," Lush said. "The bank machine would only let us take it out in $200 increments. Within a couple of transactions, our cards shut down and they figured something was up."

That's when he said the guards took out their phones and began demanding they call their banks and credit card companies to get the money wired.

"We were so intimidated, we figured we could rectify this the next morning. Just give them the money and get back to our rooms and lock the door," Lush said.

American had died days before couple at same Dominican Republic resort, hotel says

American had died days before couple at same Dominican Republic resort, hotel says An American woman died of respiratory failure in her hotel room days before a Maryland couple was found dead of the same cause at the resort, hotel staff told ABC News.

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I felt like we got assaulted. I was embarrassed. - Jay Lush

After three hours in the street making phone calls, the money was transferred, Lush said, and they were allowed to leave.

"They gave us Steve's ID back and then they gave us two free bags of coffee and thanked us for coming," he said through tears.

"I just kept saying to Steve, 'Let's just go to the room, I don't want to talk about this.' I felt like we got assaulted. I was embarrassed. I was horrified. I felt so stupid that we fell for something like this."

Search shows many similar stories

Back at the hotel, they went online and started looking for people with similar experiences. They found plenty.

An internet search turns up dozens of results for scams at the casino near Riu Bambi Hotel. CBC News has made attempts to contact the hotel but hasn't heard back.

According to vacation company Sunwing — which Lush and Bungay booked through — the casino is run by a private company separate from the hotel.

I would be that skeptic myself. But it happened to us. - Jay Lush

Lush said the hotel manager laughed in their faces and asked them to leave the premises after they complained about being scammed.

Dominican Republic deaths: Families want answers after 3 deaths within five days

Dominican Republic deaths: Families want answers after 3 deaths within five days Pennsylvania resident Miranda Schaup-Werner had just checked into her resort n the Dominican Republic on May 25 and was in the room she shared with her husband. Suddenly, she felt ill after a drink from the minibar, family spokesman Jay McDonald told CNN affiliate WFMZ. Shortly after, she collapsed and died. Schaup-Werner is one of three Americans who've mysteriously died within a week at a resort in the Caribbean nation. Five days later, Maryland couple Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, missed their scheduled checkout time at another hotel at the same resort.

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Sunwing moved them to a different resort, where they are trying to make the best of the time left on their trip.

Lush said they also spent a full day at the police station in Punta Cana, where they were put in a queue to speak with a judge. After four hours passed, they left the station and returned to their new hotel.

Lush said he understands if people believe they were intoxicated, ignorant or somehow at fault for what happened, but insists that's not the case.

"I've heard horror stories happening to other people and I would be the same as anyone else, and say, Well, maybe they were drunk,' or 'Did they just lose their money and now they're sore losers?' I understand that completely and I would be that skeptic myself. But it happened to us. And it happened so quickly."

Couple says they were scammed by Dominican casino on resort, bullied into paying $6,500© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation www.riubamburesort.com

Lush worries about what might have happened if they didn't have enough money to pay up, and is worried for his daughter, who is going on a resort vacation next month.

"What if this happened to her? Would she have called me from this darkened street? Would they have done something? Would she get assaulted? Would I never hear from her again? Like what happens to the people who can't afford it when you're being scammed like that and bullied by security guards?"

The couple has no hope of getting any money back. Sunwing, meanwhile, says it believes authorities in Punta Cana are looking into their case.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Read more

Another American dies while staying at Dominican Republic resort.
Leyla Cox, 53, died Tuesday, and another family has reported that their loved one died in the Dominican Republic in January. Jerry Curran, 78, checked into the Dreams resort in Punta Cana on Jan. 22, and died three days later, his daughter, Kellie Brown, told NBC affiliate WKYC in Ohio. The U.S. State Department confirmed Friday that an American died in the © Courtesy Will Cox Layla Cox with her son, Will Cox. “He went to the Dominican Republic healthy and he just never came back,” Brown said.

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