A travel agency in Sydney’s southern suburbs is under investigation after allegedly duping dozens of customers out of their holiday funds.

Travel World Sydney, with a now-shuttered store on Firth St, Arncliffe, allegedly took $234,534 from customers over the last 17 months, but failed to follow through with any real bookings.

There have been 28 official complaints about the business’s alleged conduct since January 2023.

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The bricks-and-mortar agency has been abandoned, and the phone lines disconnected, but the Travel World Sydney website remains online.

“We don’t just plan trips, we craft adventures that’ll be just for you,” the website reads.

“We’ll guide you through the visa process, translate those confusing menus, and ensure you have all the insider tips to avoid tourist traps and experience the true culture.”

While victims of the alleged scam may have been able to request chargebacks from card issuers after noticing their bookings appeared not to be genuine, claims are usually required to be submitted within a certain timeframe following the charge.

That typically varies from 45 to 120 days — and NSW Fair Trading, which is investigating the 28 complaints, confirmed most consumers would be outside this timeframe.

NSW Police are also investigating the matter.

“A number of people have come forward to report that they had made travel arrangements with the agency and those bookings had not been honoured,” NSW Police told 7NEWS.com.au.

NSW Fair Trading commissioner Natasha Mann said: “This type of dishonest behaviour, if proven, is unacceptable and hurts consumers and the marketplace.

“NSW Fair Trading is committed to protecting consumers from this illegal behaviour.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, businesses must not accept payment for products or services if they don’t intend to supply the product or service.

“Penalties in respect of an offence are up to $50 million for a corporation and $2.5 million for an individual.”

7NEWS.com.au has contacted Travel World Sydney for comment.

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