In what appears to be a cruel scam, 150 people's New Year's Eve plans were canned after their party boat failed to show up.
Jayden Clark, 20, was one of many who got 'scammed' by the event organiser, who promised a fun night out on the water in Adelaide.
"It was $130 per person, was meant to be all inclusive drinks, unlimited with some food, a DJ, we would be on the water to see the fireworks show. It sounded incredible. And of course it was too good to be true," Mr Clark said on his TikTok account.
"We got down to Glenelg, Adelaide here in SA where we were meant to board the boat at 8.30pm. When we arrived there was one other group and slowly there was about 150 people waiting to go on this boat that never showed up."
As 8.30pm went by with no boat in sight, people started to "freak out a little", and that's when they realised everything associated with the event online, had been wiped.
"We went onto the event, hosted by Eventbrite, and the event's been taken down, the Facebook event was taken down, and the Facebook organisers profile gone," he said. "At this point we’ve all come to the conclusion that we’ve been scammed."
Hundreds left stranded by Adelaide boat scam on NYE
Mr Clark estimated the event organiser would've pocketed $12,000 "at minimum," with several people who travelled far and wide also having to pay extra just to get there.
"I felt so bad for some people waiting for the boat (who) travelled over an hour in an Uber to get there and were so excited," Mr Clark said. "It was about a $150 Uber."
"I can obviously get over it. It's disappointing as hell, I was looking forward to celebrating the new year on the boat, but for these other people who had travelled so far, that honestly broke my heart."
He also told the ABC that a friend of his had "flown down from Melbourne for this event, listed as 'Kennedy Boat Hire' on Eventbrite and had "direct contact with the event organiser," until they deleted their profile.
SA Police investigating incident
Authorities told Yahoo News Australia on Tuesday that they were investigating the incident after receiving multiple reports.
"South Australia Police are aware of the unfortunate event which occurred on new year’s eve at Glenelg and encourage anyone who has fallen victim to this scam to make a report to Police," a South Australian police spokesperson said in a statement.
"Police would like to remind people to be cautious when booking events online and through social media platforms.Conduct your own research though reputable company websites and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."
Police urged anyone affected to report the alleged crime to the Australian government's ReportCyber website.
Given that it was a celebratory day, Mr Clark said people still tried to make the most of the scenario.
"We still managed to have an alright night because we had good people which was so fortunate, and ended up on the beach for the countdown," he said on his TikTok.
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