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More victims of 2 Israeli swindlers backpacking through South America come forward

“The situation is incredibly frustrating, as we had genuine intentions to assist these individuals because they are part of our own community. It is truly disheartening to witness such a blatant exploitation of kindness,” an Israeli backpacking in South America tells Ynet.

Further testimonies have emerged from fellow backpackers, detailing their unfortunate encounters with two Israeli women traveling in South America. Just last week, we reported on how these two individuals borrowed money from Israeli travelers, only to vanish without repaying the borrowed amount.

It appears that Or and Noga, the names associated with these individuals, have successfully deceived and swindled numerous Israeli backpackers who embarked on their journeys after completing their military service in recent months.

According to compelling evidence, the Israeli women who have been traveling in South America for an extended period have also engaged in deceptive practices targeting Chabad houses and local businesses, involving both small and large sums of money.

The modus operandi of these individuals becomes apparent through the collected evidence. The two individuals approach others claiming to be in dire straits, soliciting money transfers either through the Bit app or in cash, while assuring repayment. However, once they acquire the funds, they vanish without a trace.

Hila, a fellow Israeli traveler who fell victim to the schemes orchestrated by Or and Noga, shares her firsthand experience. “It happened to me approximately three months ago when I was in Brazil. I had purchased tickets for a Friday dinner at a Chabad house but couldn’t attend, so I decided to sell the tickets to them,” she said.

“Since it was Friday and I understood their observance of Shabbat, I didn’t even request payment at the time, considering their apparent stress. Throughout the entirety of Saturday, there was no contact from them whatsoever. It was on Saturday evening that it slowly dawned on me,” Hila continued.

“I reached out to Or through messages, but she didn’t respond. The following day, I tried again, yet received no reply once more. Finally, on Sunday evening, I received a response from her. She assured me that they were observing Shabbat and urged me not to worry, promising to come and bring me the money.

“I provided her with my location, but she claimed to be unaware of where I was. I suggested several meeting spots, yet each time, she used the same excuse, stating that she didn’t know the whereabouts of those places.

“She continued to elude me for several days with such exchanges. At one point, she even informed me that she had left the money for me at the reception of a distant hostel that had no proximity to my location whatsoever,” Hila said.

“I explained to her that it doesn’t work that way and requested her to transfer the money directly to me. However, she responded by saying that she didn’t have the Bit app or any credit. I somewhat let it go, but I would occasionally message her regarding the money matters.

On one occasion, she replied, ‘Oh my God, stop acting crazy. It’s only 150 shekels.’ She made me feel as if it was unreasonable for me to demand my money. It wasn’t really about the money itself. Everyone is mindful of their finances while traveling because 150 shekels, in a hostel, is three days worth of accommodations,” according to Hila.

Meanwhile, Hila journeyed to Peru, and while in the city of Cusco she became aware of the presence of two Israeli women who were known for scamming fellow travelers. “When I heard their names, Or and Noga, I couldn’t believe it,” Hila recalled.

Hila mustered up the courage and confronted the two women. “I learned that they were here, and I told myself that I had to reclaim my money. I spotted them at my hostel and approached them. At first, Or vehemently denied owing me any money, but eventually, she admitted her wrongdoing and promised to repay me. One of the individuals in charge of the hostel’s events noticed the commotion and intervened, inquiring about the situation. Eventually, I got back 140 shekels worth of Venezuelan currency,” she said.

Uri Malka, an Israeli traveler who fell victim to Or and Noga’s deceit, shared his encounter while he was in Rio, Brazil. “Or and Noga were searching for accommodation. We informed them that we had space for two more people in our apartment and discussed the price,” he said.

“They agreed to stay with us for three days, and the cost for each of them was 270 shekels. I requested that they transfer the money to me using Bit or pay in cash, to which they assured me they would settle the payment,” he explained.

However, Malka’s attempts to collect the owed money were met with repeated rejections and various excuses.

“I patiently waited, hoping to receive the payment, but nothing came. Each day, I would send them a message, and they would come up with a different excuse, claiming they were on their way back to Israel and would send me the money upon their arrival,” he said.

“After months of pursuing them and realizing that I, like any other traveler, needed the money, I came to the realization that they had scammed many more people,” Malka added.

Or responded defiantly, denying any wrongdoing. “We scammed no one. These were our friends who assisted us, and we made a promise to return their money. In fact, we have already reimbursed the majority of them. Therefore, there was no scam, now or ever. It’s convenient to simply listen to one side of the story,” she said.

Source: ynetnews