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Seeing double.

I’ve recently become aware of a blog that’s taken a liking to my work. A liking so strong, you might be seeing double.

It’s called Atas Accountant (I’m not going to link to it, but a quick Google will get you there), a self-described “digital luxury travel brand”.

Atas Accountant is a digital luxury travel brand based in Singapore. We engage and educate our clients on the process of leveraging miles & points through our flagship online course while also offering specially curated services in bespoke itinerary planning and consultations while working with different travel brands worldwide.

Now, I had a long hard think about how to deal with this, because:

  1. I’m well aware of the Streisand effect, and how writing this article gives publicity to a blog that would otherwise not have had it
  2. By linking to the articles in question, I’m creating valuable backlinks that boost their search ranking

(1) can’t really be helped. For better or worse, a lot more people will know about the Atas Accountant after this article than before it.

As for (2), I’ve done my best to minimise the benefit by linking to archived copies on the Wayback Machine. If you’re interested in viewing the actual live version (and it hasn’t been modified and/or hastily taken down), you can still do so by copying the URL in the Wayback Machine’s address bar. 

I’m going to show several articles side-by-side to give you an idea of what’s going on…

Article #1: Conrad Centennial review

MileLion OriginalAtas Accountant
LinkLink
As expected, the Conrad’s bed is of impeccable quality. It’s a Simmons Beautyrest mattress (Simmons, incidentally, is also behind the Westin’s Heavenly Bed), and while they don’t sell the exact same model in stores, you can find something very similar by mentioning the hotel name to a sales associate. As expected, the Conrad’s bed is of impeccable quality. It’s a Simmons Beautyrest mattress (Simmons, incidentally, is also behind other top hotel brands like Westin’s Heavenly Bed along with Waldorf Astoria), and while they don’t sell the exact same model in stores, you can find something very similar by mentioning the hotel name to a sales representative. 

The smashed avocado toast, served with a poached egg and smoked paprika, was a delight and definitely worth a second serving. 

It’s not very often you get served a seafood nasi lemak at breakfast, but this one didn’t skimp on the ingredients. A whole fried mackerel, prawns, squid, even mussels. The rice could have used a little more coconut fragrance, but you don’t want to fill up on carbs anyway.

The smashed avocado toast, served with a poached egg and smoked paprika, was a delight and definitely worth a second serving. 

It’s not very often you get served a seafood nasi lemak at breakfast, and this one didn’t skimp on the ingredients. It was garnished with a whole fried mackerel, prawns, squid, even mussels. Superb.

That cute little fella on the bed is the Conrad Singapore’s mascot (every Conrad property worldwide has their own animal; at the Conrad Koh Samui it’s a turtle for instance), and yes, he’s yours to take home. There have been various editions of Conrad teddy bears over the years, creating a “catch ’em all” feel.
Noticed a little furry friend at the bed? That cute little friend on the bed is the Conrad Singapore’s mascot (every Conrad property worldwide has their own animal!), and yes, they’re a welcome gift to take home. There have been various editions of Conrad teddy bears over the years, some given during festive seasons, creating a “catch ’em all” feel.
Somewhat surprisingly for a business-focused hotel, the Executive Room lacks a proper desk. A conscious decision was made to remove it, in the belief that the last thing work-weary travelers would want to see was another office desk. Instead, a more casual round table can be used to the same end. It does hamper the room’s work-friendly credentials though, and I’d recommend the lounge as the seating is much more comfortable. 
Somewhat surprisingly lacking for a business-focused hotel such as Conrad Singapore was a proper desk. I’m led to believe that a conscious decision was made to remove it, to make the room feel more ‘homely’ for travellers after a long day. Instead, a more casual round table was preferred. It does make the room less work conducive as compared to the Hilton Singapore which features a Herman Miller, but fret not! The executive lounge is more than worthy a replacement, as the environment is much more conducive with afternoon tea available as well.

The Conrad Singapore’s swimming pool is located on the 4th floor, and is open from 7 a.m to 10 p.m daily. A maximum of 20 guests can use it at any one time, and each guest is limited to 60 minutes per day (just like the lounge, enforcement is lax when occupancy permits). Reservations need to be made beforehand via this link, and can be done at most 48 hours before arrival.

The 20-meter pool is rectangular in shape (maximum depth: 1.3m), making for easy lap swimming. While the pool isn’t particularly elevated, you’ll still have partial views of the Singapore Flyer and the downtown district. For those afraid of the sun, do note that the pool is bathed in sunlight all the way from morning till about 6 p.m, so take a later slot if you don’t want sunburn. 

The Conrad Singapore’s swimming pool is located on the 4th floor, and is open from 7 a.m to 10 p.m daily. A maximum of 20 guests can use it at any one time, and each guest is limited to 60 minutes per day (just like the lounge, enforcement is lax when occupancy permits). Reservations need to be made beforehand via this link, and can be done 48 hours before arrival.

The 20-meter pool is functional and rectangular in shape (maximum depth: 1.3m), making for easy lap swimming. While the pool isn’t particularly elevated, you’ll still have partial views of the Singapore Flyer and the downtown district. For those afraid of the sun, do note that the pool is bathed in sunlight all the way from morning till about 6 p.m, so take a later slot if you don’t want sunburn. 

Do note that if you’re granted late check-out on the second day, you won’t be able to revisit the lounge for a second afternoon tea. That may come as a bit of a surprise to those who have stayed at the Pan Pacific or Shangri-La Valley Wing, where the staff generally close one eye to such things (or even actively invite you to come back). 

Do note that if you’re granted late check-out on the second day, you will not be able to revisit the lounge for a second afternoon tea as per hotel policy. That may be due to the implementation of social distancing and come as a surprise to those who have stayed at the Pan Pacific or Shangri-La Valley Wing, where the staff do readily invite guests back,

While I am delighted there’s someone else out there who finds smashed avocado toast ” a delight and definitely worth a second serving”, I would prefer to be the only pretentious person out there who uses “metamorphosis” in a sentence. 

MileLion OriginalAtas Accountant
When I look at pre-2018 reviews of the Conrad Centennial, I’m staggered by the metamorphosis the hotel has undergone. Stylistically, it’s night and day, and the property finally has the hardware to match its historically impressive soft product.It’s quite the metamorphosis Conrad Singapore has undergone when compared to what it was pre-2018. The difference is night and day, and the property finally has the hard product to match its historically impressive soft product, making it an easy recommendation.

Oh, and at least rename the file lah bro.

Click to enlarge

To top it all off, the Atas Accountant article is based on a sponsored stay from Conrad Centennial. I imagine they might have something to say about this…

Article #2: Citi PayAll 2 mpd promo

MileLion OriginalAtas Accountant
LinkLink

From 1 January to 31 March 2022, eligible Citi cardholders will earn a flat 2 mpd on up to S$90,000 of Citi PayAll transactions with a minimum spend of S$3,000. Both the payment setup and charge dates must fall within the promotion period. 

The following cards are eligible: 

What’s particularly awesome about this deal is that Citibank is offering the same rate across all eligible cards. You’ll earn 2 mpd, regardless of whether you’re using the Citi ULTIMA, Prestige, PremierMiles or Rewards. How’s that for egalitarian?

As a reminder, the S$90,000 cap applies on a customer level, regardless of how many Citibank cards you hold. For example, you can’t earn 2 mpd on S$90,000 worth of payments on both the Citi Rewards and Citi PremierMiles; only the first S$90,000 of combined spending will count. 

From 1 January to 31 March 2022, eligible Citi cardholders will earn a flat 2 mpd on up to S$90,000 of Citi PayAll transactions with a minimum spend of S$3,000. Both the payment setup and charge dates must fall within the promotion period. 

Below are the following cards that are eligible for this promotion: 

What’s great about this promotion is that Citibank is offering a flat rate of 2mpd across all eligible cards. You’ll earn 2 mpd, regardless of whether you’re using the Citi ULTIMA, Prestige, PremierMiles or Rewards, allowing fresh market card users to have the same rate compared to those upper market cards.

To clarify things, the S$90,000 cap applies on a customer level, regardless of how many Citibank cards you hold. Thus, you only earn 2 mpd on the first S$90,000 worth of payments on all your Citibank cards, and not for each individual card.

The “miscellaneous payments” category is surprisingly broad.  You could use PayAll to pay for wedding expenses, donations, renovations, even the nebulously defined “travel expenses” and “payment for retail good and services”.

The “miscellaneous payments” category is surprisingly broad, and best used for merchants/vendors who dont accept credit card payments. You could use PayAll to pay for wedding expenses, donations, renovations, even the nebulously defined “travel expenses” and “payment for retail good and services”.

I realise that information-driven posts like these may have common elements (obviously the dates and spending requirements will be similar- though who uses “nebulous” these days!), but something tells me the writer isn’t even trying…

Click to enlarge

To be fair, there were some changes made to the article, namely swapping out my SingSaver affiliate links and replacing them with their own.

Click to enlarge

Article #3: Updated border measures

MileLion OriginalAtas Accountant
LinkLink

Singapore has announced a fresh set of updates to its border measures, which take effect from 12 November 2021 onwards.

A major development is that cheaper ART results will now be accepted as valid pre-departure tests (PDT) for arrivals from Category II and III countries (Category I does not need a PDT), plus travellers on the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL).

Singapore will also be expanding the window to do a pre-departure test from 48 hours to 2 days (there is a difference, as we’ll see below!), and upgrading a host of countries to the less-restrictive Categories II and III. 

Singapore has just announced a flurry of updates to its border measures, which are set to take effect from 12 November 2021.

Some major developments: cheaper ARTs will now be deemed valid pre-departure tests (PDT) for arrivals from Category II and III countries (Category I does not need a PDT), plus travellers on the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), we see an expansion in the window to do a pre-departure test from 48 hours to 2 days (this marks a significant difference), and also an upgrade of a host of countries to the less-restrictive Categories II and III, allowing you to perform quarantine from home.

One of the major pain points of travelling to Singapore right now is the cost of COVID-19 testing. Singapore currently accepts only PCR results for PDTs, and the cost overseas can sometimes exceed S$200 a test. 

From 12 November 2021, Singapore will relax this requirement and recognise a negative professionally administered ART result as a valid PDT for travellers arriving in/transiting through Singapore from Category II/III countries (including travellers via the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)). 

Note the “professionally administered” requirement- the test must be done by a trained professional, i.e. self-swabs will not qualify. Still, this has the potential to save a ton of money, as a professionally-administered ART is much cheaper than its PCR equivalent. 

A major pain point of travelling to Singapore right now is the high cost of COVID-19 testing. From the pilot programmes, this rose to almost $1,000. Currently, Singapore accepts only PCR results for PDTs, and the cost overseas can sometimes exceed S$200 a test. 

There’s good news though. From 12 November 2021, Singapore will relax this requirement and recognise negative professionally administered ART result as valid PDTs for travellers arriving in/transiting through Singapore from Category II/III countries. This will also include flights from VTLs. 

Note the term “professionally administered” requirement- don’t try to bargain your way at the border office with a self-test. This test must be done by a trained professional. It’s still a sunk cost, but one that is greatly reduced.

I’d like to draw special attention to the bit below, because it’s gold. I am somewhat amused that Atas Accountant made the effort to change all “December” references to “November” in the first paragraph, then promptly forgot about it in the subsequent paragraph. 

MileLion OriginalAtas Accountant

The current requirement is that samples for PDTs must be taken within 48 hours of flight departure. For example, if your flight departs at 2000 hours on 20 December 2021, your sample must be taken no earlier than 2000 hours on 18 December 2021.

This presents logistical issues overseas, where clinics may not open so late. It effectively means you have to rush down first thing in the morning on 19 December, and in places with slower turnaround times, may lead to some anxiety. 

From 12 November 2021, the window expands to 2 days. Using the example above, you could now take your test anytime from 0000 hours on 18 December 2021.

The current regime states that samples for PDTs must be taken within 48 hours of flight departure. For example, if your flight departs at 1800 hours on 20 November 2021, your sample must be taken no earlier than 1800 hours on 18 November 2021.

This has caused numerous logistical issues overseas, where clinics close early, causing you to rush down first thing in the morning on 19 December, and in places with slower turnaround times, may lead to some anxiety, especially you have to buffer time to check-in. 

From 12 November 2021, the window expands to 2 days. With the example above, you could now take your test anytime from 0000 hours on 18 December 2021. As you can tell, this probably gives you a bigger time allowance.

If you’re rushing down on 19 December to take a pre-departure test for a flight on 20 November, then yeah, that may lead to some anxiety. 

Article #4: Denmark quarantine requirement

MileLion OriginalAtas Accountant
LinkLink

If your year-end VTL travel plans include Denmark, here’s some rather bad news. In light of Singapore’s recent removal from the EU’s “safe list”, Denmark has decided to impose a quarantine requirement on travellers from Singapore.

Travellers from Singapore must now self-isolate for 10 days immediately after entry into Denmark. It is possible to end the isolation after four days with a negative COVID-19 PCR test. 

There are certain exemptions for those holding an EUDCC, or who have spent some amount of time in an EU/Schengen country (it’s not clear exactly how much). 

A heads-up for those of you travelling to Denmark! If your year-end VTL travel plans includes Denmark, here’s some rather bad news. With the recent removal of Singapore from the EU’s “safe list”, Denmark has went ahead to impose a quarantine requirement on travellers from Singapore, regardless of vaccination status.

Travellers from Singapore must now self-isolate for 10 days immediately after entry into Denmark. It should be mentioned though, that isolation can be ended after four days with a negative COVID-19 PCR test. 

In addition, there are certain exemptions for those holding an EUDCC, or who have spent some amount of time in an EU/Schengen country, but details are not clearly stated for now. 

The Danish government provides a questionnaire that advises travellers about entry restrictions. While travellers from Singapore were previously granted an exemption from testing and quarantine, the updated rules require them to:

  1. Take a test within 24 hours of entry (a pre-departure test is not required)
  2. Self-isolate for 10 days immediately after entry

The same rules apply regardless of vaccination status, although there’s some uncertainty about how Singapore residents with EUDCCs will be treated (see below). 

Isolation can be ended early with a negative PCR test result, taken at the earliest on the fourth day after entry. Testing in Denmark is free, regardless of residency (however, pre-departure tests may be chargeable).

Thankfully, a questionnaire is provided from the Danish government that advises travellers about entry restrictions. While travellers from Singapore (VTL flights) were previously granted an exemption from testing and quarantine, the updated rules with immediate effect require them to:

  1. Take a test within 24 hours of entry (a pre-departure test is not required)
  2. Self-isolate for 10 days immediately after entry

The same rules apply regardless of vaccination status, although there’s some uncertainty about how Singapore residents with EUDCCs will be treated. 

Isolation can be ended early with a negative PCR test result, taken at the earliest on the fourth day after entry. Testing in Denmark is free, regardless of residency (however, pre-departure tests may be chargeable).

In case you were wondering, there are various ways to convert your Singapore vaccination certificate into an EUDCC:

In case you were wondering, there are various ways to convert your Singapore vaccination certificate into an EUDCC:

  • Those physically in Italy can visit the local health authority for a free-of-charge conversion
  • Those physically in France can visit a pharmacy for a €30 EUDCC conversion
  • Those physically in Germany can visit a pharmacy for a free-of-charge EUDCC conversion
  • Switzerland has an online system for EUDCC conversion (CHF30 fee applies) (most straightforward as well)

Rearranging the order of bullet points may help beat Turnitin, but it’s not going to work here.

Article #5: Hyatt hotel changes

It’s not just MileLion content that’s getting the ol’ cut and paste treatment, you can find similar work done for articles from other miles blogs like One Mile at a Time. 

OMAAT OriginalAtas Accountant
LinkLink
Click to enlarge

In Summary

I only have the time and energy to showcase a fraction of the articles I’ve identified and archived, but one thing’s for sure: the Atas Accountant’s been taking ethics lessons from Arthur Andersen. 

So my message to the Atas Accountant is simple: take down these plagiarised articles, publish an apology and undertaking not to do it again, and let me get back to my cat videos. 

Update: Really appreciate the support in the comments! However, please do not post any personal information that could constitute doxxing. I will be removing such posts. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Happy Camper

Shockingly shameless.

Des

-Removed: please do not post any personal information-

JHH

This guy needs to get a life

Tan John

Truly shameless

dick son

FounderAtas AccountantAug 2019 – Present2 years 8 months
Singapore
– Assist clients in savings totalling above $100,000 on related costs while immersing in luxury travel experiences
– Negotiate partnerships with travel brands for marketing on social media platforms

LionDen

Confirm the correct person? Don’t doxx the wrong innocent guy hor. Just saying.

Somebody

Now there, let’s be kinder. This is a kid (not legally but in life experience terms) who did something stupid thinking people wouldn’t be wiser. He should apologise, make good financially the harm he caused, shutdown this brand (its toxic anyway now) and do better in the future.
Expulsion is an extreme step and I don’t think even Aaron would want that (my assumption of course). This doesn’t mean the behaviour is condoned but he didn’t commit rape or murder so punishment should be proportional. Unfortunately, judgemental mob hysteria has become fashionable in these social media driven times.

Plj

I wouldn’t urge this boy’s university to expel him for this. I would write to let them know of this pattern of behavior, while strongly encouraging the university to take a close look at the papers he’s been submitting. I don’t support “judgmental mob hysteria”, but I somehow doubt his plagiarism stopped at just the content on that website.

Abc

I’m going to start a new blog called the copyright cat. Looking for some content to plagiarise. Was going to copy and paste Straits Times, but I realised they already plagiarise from the government’s media releases…

tan

well ST does have original content if poorly researched paid articles are considered lol

Patrick

HAHAHAH 🙂

Brandon

disgusting. if you need to pursue this as a legal case, please do let the readers know, I will gladly help contribute to support the legal costs.

Solomon

Likewise, will contribute too.

Ryn

Hi Aaron. i hope this doesnt discourage you from making more post.

I enjoyed your article and hopefully more people can benefit from what you are doing!

Miles Guy

What a scumbag

Lhu

Waiting for the inevitable pseudo-apology from atas accountant, while gaslighting everyone by blaming a mysterious intern / copyrighter thus absolving Dickson Ng of any responsibility.

Undergrads have more important concerns, like building ‘luxury brands’ and how to pick up girls in bars when they all leave by 10.30pm when covid magically threatens us all, but not earlier.

Last edited 3 months ago by Lhu
Ortloc

Wouldn’t be surprised if this article gets copied and demands an apology from himself.

Ken

Wow he has also copy/ pasted Mainly Miles spontaneous escapes page with all the aircraft label and seat type tables etc which I guess takes a long time to compile together plus word for word sections like the “what if you already booked” section. Just like with your articles, no bother to even change the wording!

https://atasaccountant.com/2022/03/16/spontaneous-escapes-returns-get-30-off-singapore-airlines-award-tickets-in-april-may/

Shameless!! I advised Andrew too

kopi lim

What a cheap sounding copy. Do let us know if we can crowdfund any legal action taken against this jerk.

Dave

Let’s see what my former colleagues at NBS have to say.

Last edited 3 months ago by Dave
Matthew

As much as we are against this as a community, think let’s still try to not take things into our own hands!

The shame from being exposed should be a hard enough lesson.

LionDen

Why use the name Atas Accountant? At least use a name that sound like the original ma- such as 猫lion. 😜

Lion Miler copyCat

Later Atas Accountant —> The LionMiler
hahah

Tiak

Aaron, I really think you should make a police report. And if you need recommendations for an IP lawyer, do let me know.

Spoon

I hope that’s not something recommended by your recommended IP lawyer, since the SPF will definitely not bother with this kind of copyright infringement case.

Freddy

That’s really shameless

msflyer

Aaron. You gave up consulting job to do MileLion. Should not let this person steal your IP.

alian

Did a who.is check and the site uses a service with NAMECHEAP INC

Think that says it all !!!

I wonder which authority in Singapore can handle such situations without having to settle in Civil Court?

Zaos

Namecheap is a respected registrar. No point bashing them.
Not that it’s comparable – but it’s like blaming Porsche if someone driving a 911 runs over a poor soul.

Last edited 3 months ago by Zaos
derfner

Does commenting here help raise the search ranking of this article? if it does, here’s one.

Joyce

What a stupid n useless thief !
Glad you are holding up so well !
Personally l will not do him the favour of even ‘looking’ at his copycat site.
Shameless indeed !

TesQ

I’m so sorry you had to go through this. You reacted to it so graciously. Stay strong!

Terence

Maintenance mode
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Our website is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.
Thank you for your understanding.

Terence

attas accountant site is in “maintenance mode”

Wee Lin

So is his LinkedIn.

Hope he learned his lesson, let’s move on.

Ariga Wibisana

Well.. copying someone’s blog …lol i wonder how miserable his/her life is 🤣.

cheesecake

Something MUST have happened. Going to the Atas Accountant site now, you’re faced with this message:

“Maintenance mode
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Our website is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.
Thank you for your understanding.”

Ahem, scheduled? LOL

Last edited 3 months ago by cheesecake
W L

Ahahaha

Well done, Aaron, for publicly calling them out! Feckless, spineless copy-cats.

Hope that there is some legal recourse for you against this.

We love your hard work, and admire how you are dealing with this!

henry

blatant plagiarism. need to go after them!

Alian

There seems to be bigger problem here. Could be a bigger hack or other scheme going on.

Just been informed my friend’s company website just got copied too. Even the board of directors page is same. ¯\_()_/¯

think we might be seeing more of this more often now.

everyone be more careful

WBT

I’m impressed with the way you’ve handled this. It goes beyond plagiarism though. This is theft… He’s profiting from your work by stealing it as evidenced by replacing the affiliate links. I’m not a lawyer, so I would suggest that you talk to a real lawyer and follow your lawyer’s advice to protect yourself. Send him a threatening lawyerese nasty gram, file a police report… I think you can make a good case that this constitutes cheating under Singapore law, and Atas Accountant could be held criminally liable. Again, I’m impressed by your measured and classy response but don’t take… Read more »

David

Wow. Just WOW. I’ve seen blogs and bloggers ‘leaning on’ another article for their info, basically doing little if any work of their own and just rewriting / repackaging original material from somebody else (I’ve had it happen to my own copy at Executive Traveller many a time) but this takes the cake. It’s outrageous bald-faced thievery, and you have handled this in an excellent way, Aaron, calling out the plagiarism with a few side-serves of your trademark wry humour. I would honestly back comments by others here that whatever uni this chap is attending *should* check his assignments, essays… Read more »

WBT

Agree, these things seldom happen in isolation. And if he insists on using a Malay modifier to accountant, I submit atas can be replaced by one that starts with the letter B and ends with H. 🙂

wl

Maintenance mode
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Our website is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.
Thank you for your understanding.

he has stopped it
hahaha

Dave

Well, 24 hours and no public apology is another impressive achievement.

RailTravel Station

I had a similar major problem like this for a period of time where another website copied all my articles wholesale without changes, and I had to stop for a short period of time as there was no point continuing, with articles treated as internet spam as for whatever reason. Google chose to rank the copier rather than me (as a hidden result). Thanks for calling out the plagiarizers (copiers?). It helps to let more people know that such behaviours exist, which smaller blogs can’t seem to be heard about, even by Google. It took me a couple of months… Read more »

bento

It shows you have arrived Aaron!

imed

Hence the title haha

Somebody

Site still down after 2 months hahahaha

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