The news from Rumah Bahasa and its evil con-man owner just keeps on getting worse. In fact, Frendy Horas, the 24 year old professional con-man who owns the school, has just pulled off his biggest ever hit- and-run operation. Frendy Horas’s has just closed his new school at Cinere Mall just 2 months after it opened, running off with an estimated Rp 2 billion. More than 300 customers have been stung.
Cinere is an up and coming suburb on the edge of Depok. In the last census, the Cinere district already had over 110,000 residents. It is part of the sprawl of Greater Jakarta, which is one of the largest cities in the world today. Frendy Horas, a Chinese-Indonesian confidence trickster, opened a new branch of Rumah Bahasa at Cinere Mal in January 2015. He and his team of liars then set about aggressively marketing and selling language courses for his new school, which had a glossy, slick appearance.
The con was exactly the same as at his previous Rumah Bahasa branches. He pushed customers hard to sign-up for 12 months’ worth of language courses, charging them from Rp 4.5 million – Rp 12 million for the courses. By the middle of March they had enrolled 300 plus students, taking a minimum of Rp 4.5 million from each of them. The estimated total takings from all the victims-to-be was about Rp 2 billion. At the current exchange rate, this is over US $150,000.
A few days ago he announced to his customers that the school would have to close for a few days for ”emergency repairs” or renovations. (He was pulled this trick at other branches before). Some customers got suspicious and went to management at Cinere Mal. The mall management then told them that there were no renovations or repairs underway- the school had closed down. Not only had Frendy Horas run off with the student payments over 300 people, but he had also not paid the salaries of the teachers who had worked there. What we are looking at here is a highly organized and targeted criminal operation.
Once again we have to warn people to completely avoid Rumah Bahasa, Language and Beyond and Global Bahasa. Frendy Horas has now opened at least 7 different Rumah Bahasa schools and suddenly closed them down, running off with the money. Furthermore, Global Bahasa has employed many of the same sales techniques as Rumah Bahasa and some of its courses have now been delayed for many months without refunds being given. Government agencies have refused to intervene, raising suspicions that they are getting a cut. Customers need to be very suspicious of new, little-known language school brands in Jakarta. Stick with respected schools.