Hello Darlings CEO, Tasneem Moosa, much like her company’s website, has been offline. many believe she is hiding overseas
Johannesburg – Many people woke up on Tuesday to realise the dream vacation they had booked and paid for through Hello Darlings had taken off without them. Tasneem Moosa, CEO of the company, is nowhere to be found.
Moosa is said to have disabled all her accounts which led to those who had booked with her to panic, thinking the worst. A Telegram group with over three thousand members was created for victims who have lost money to the tune of R30 000 to R160 000.
One of Moosa’s clients, who wished to remain anonymous, said family and friends collectively paid over half a million rand to Hello Darlings for trips to Maldives. The trip was scheduled for December 2021 but due to Covid restrictions they were forced to reschedule.
Their reasons for booking were the same as many of the others, either friends and family had recommended the company, or they trusted reviews from social media influencers recommending Hello Darlings. The packages were said to be “relatively cheap”.
According to the source, there was no reason to suspect anything as everything was going well.
“We paid her in August. She initially wanted 50% then and 50% later. Then she came back to me and because December and January were the popular times, she wanted me to pay the amount in full. At that time, she did everything properly. We had gotten invoices for everything.”
A group was created for all those going to Maldives in December and the excitement was starting to build up. Suddenly the borders were closed and Moosa informed the group all trips were being cancelled until the borders re-opened.
“Then I messaged her in January this year to find out what’s the process and if I have to request a refund now and I was assured that there will be other trips launched. She even promised me that she will honour the price of last year’s trip even though this year’s prices had gone up.”
They decided to go with this option because they had heard it was an issue to get a refund with some people waiting for over three months. This was confirmed when Moosa uploaded a video on her social media page in January saying refunds were taking time to process, an issue she was working on with her admin team. They only came to know something was amiss when they were added to random chat groups on Monday night and were informed Moosa was missing.
One of the group members mentioned being charged R2000 for adding a stopover in Dubai which another client, Ammarah, confirmed she too was charged for a stopover as well as being “triple charged for Visas.” Ammarah was later informed by Emirates Airlines she “didn’t need to pay a stopover fee”.
Hello Darlings owe Ammarah’s friend R70 000 “since last year and they promised her they’ll pay but she still has not gotten paid”.
Not only South Africans have been left devastated by the company. Aneesa, who resides in the UAE, booked through Moosa’s Dubai based company, Femme Voyages Tourism Guidance Services LLC. Her trip to Turkey did not materialise.
“They were pretty popular on Instagram. My aunt went on a trip with her last year and couldn’t recommend her enough. I paid for it on the 2nd of January 2022. We were supposed to leave on the 18th of March. We were told we would receive our tickets between the 3rd and 6th of March, but I have received nothing.”
There are those who were refunded quickly but others who requested a refund have faced an uphill battle to receive their refunds. Another client, Ruwayda, booked a trip with Moosa in 2020, described being refunded as “a tough process” but eventually did receive her money. The same cannot be said for Zee, who booked two years ago and was refunded a partial amount a year later. Screenshots she shared with Salaamedia indicate a year-long interaction to get her refund.
“She kept saying that there were admin issues. It was paid and should reflect within twenty-four hours. Took ages for the back and forth. A year later, I still got the runaround last month when I asked if she was ever going to give me that R1000.”
In a voice note posted on the Turkey based chat group, an unidentified voice explained she was told by Moosa on 25 February she needed to make “R2 million by Monday and that if I help her do it, there will be a big bonus in it”.
Many are saying they have been “taken for a ride” but according to a source close to Moosa this is not the case and people are being refunded as quickly as she can.
“After Omicron she was in debt and paid refunds. Then she started asking everyone for help and for investors to pay refunds and then to book accommodation. We were all trying to help her get money just to get herself out of this… She asked me to help sell her jewellery to pay for flights and hotels. I gave her almost R250 000 last week to help her with her rent because she has kids and needed to pay refunds.”
A close family member to the source, who worked for Moosa, told her she was distraught by the whole situation.
“She is in complete disbelief. She considered Tas a friend. She is sick to her core, and she needs time to digest everything.
She feels responsible as well as she was advertising for Tas.”
The source stressed Moosa did not flee the country because she was guilty of any crime but out of fear as “she was getting death threats”.
As to the rest of the funds, answers were not forthcoming. Moosa refuses to speak to the media.
According to messages shared to Salaamedia, there is a plan in place to help refund people. The business is apparently still earning money, and this is going towards paying people back. Trips for this week are being fulfilled, however future trips will be postponed.
Screenshots from an app, shared with Salaamedia, allegedly indicate that refunds have been made. A few people from the Telegram group confirmed they had received their refund on Tuesday.
Moosa is said to be hiding overseas and several people have opened a case against her.