When Ravi Mankela, a 26-year-old IT professional bought passes for a New Yearâ€™s Eve party in 2014, little did he know that he was being scammed.
Ravi is not the only one. Like every year, even Sandeep Kumar, a 27-year-old private employee from Hyderabad also planned a new year bash with his friends last year, and faced a similar situation where they were cheated out of thousands of rupees on the pretext of passes for a party.
A number of parties are organized in the city every year, but a number of 'fake' or 'flop' parties, that are being organized by some unknown people are on the rise.
''New Year was around the corner and like every year, me and my friends were planning to do something. So, we finally decided to book passes for this party called ''The Ghost New Year Bash'' which was organized at the outskirts of the city at 'Lake View Resorts. This party had many attracting offers like unlimited food, a DJ, drinks, and many other things besides a pick up and drop facility," says Ravi.
Ravi and his friends immediately booked passes and waited for the event.
"Buses were arranged for us from different areas. We reached the area and saw a lot of people like us who were waiting to get in. However, when we did get in, we realized that it was a small cricket ground with no party arrangements. There was a small DJ set up at the corner and there were no lights. We were hungry, but the promise of unlimited food was false as there was no food or liquor at the place. We got the biggest shock of our life and realized that this party was nothing but a big fraud," Ravi added.
Even as the duped customers started outraging, the event managers disappeared, along with the buses, leaving them stranded on the outskirts of the city at midnight.
Kalahara Reddy from 'Chocolate Boy', an event management company in Hyderabad says that people should be careful before booking passes from new and unheard of organizers in the city.
"Even if you do book them, try to avoid parties which are arranged in the outskirts of the city, especially when you are planning to celebrate with families. Many unknown organizers will give you unbelievable offers," he said.
"I almost lost interest in New Year parties after the incident. I prefer staying at home now rather than going for a party," a dejected Sandeep adds.
To add to the victim's woes, the police say that even if a case was booked, it would be a consumer case and not a criminal one.
"These kind of cases are usually taken up by consumer courts and not criminal ones," a top police officer who did not want to be named said.