Macedonians residing in the USA have been the target of a scam that apparently promises cheap flights to Skopje. The scam was originally noticed by the Macedonian Diaspora during the New Year celebration. Ljupco Stanchevski, a resident of Columbus, Ohio for 25 years, told “Meta” it was while celebrating a New Year in the city, at a party, that he became aware of the scam. A singer, who was performing at the party, who originally was from Prilep, Macedonia, offered Stanchevski and others cheap flights to Macedonia with the airline company “Austrian Airlines”.

“After her performance at the party, the singer Elena Jovchevska approached us and mentioned that she worked in a travel agency called “Travel Tales” and made us an offer of return flights to Macedonia at a price of 550 Euros. I am a constant traveller to my native country for the past 20 years and never before had I heard of such a cheap fare. I believed her and gave her cash for four return tickets to Macedonia, she told us we would be flying with Austrian Airlines”, said Stanchavski.

“I have also been conned by the owner of the travel agency”, claimed the singer Elena Jovcevska. She said she is pressing charges against the travel agency and has started the legal process which will be shortly followed by a lawsuit.

“I am the one who has been deceived the most. I worked with her because she begged me to do so, but she is also my first cousin. When I performed at events or parties I offered tickets for flights to Macedonia, whatever money I was paid went directly to her. What she did with the money, I do not know. All I do know is that I have been cheated and my reputation is ruined”, said Jovcevska.

Lawyers consulted by “Meta” about the situation, said it may be that the Macedonians concerned have no case in this sad tale. According to the lawyers, the way the money was given, upfront and in cash, without a receipt or other fiscal verification, there is no evidence of a business transaction, making it difficult to prosecute.