Consumer Council alerts people of residential rental scam after woman claims to be landlady

Consumer Council alerts people of residential rental scam after woman claims to be landlady

By Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 03/05/2023
[Photo: File]

People are being alerted to refrain from making residential bond and rental payment without verifying if they are dealing with the real property owner or an authorized agent after a woman was found to be falsely claiming to offer flats for rent and collect payments.

The Consumer Council of Fiji says according to multiple reports received by the Council, the woman has been approaching people in the Suva area, claiming that she has flats available for rent.

They say she has been taking advance payment from vulnerable individuals, promising that the property will be available once a payment of $600 bond and $600 advance rent is paid.

The Council says after receiving payment from consumers, the individual comes up with various delaying tactics such as the flat needing more renovation or the existing tenants are still on the premises.

They say after intervention from the Council, only one complainant has been given a refund after months of being given the run-around, and many more complainants await restitution.

Council CEO Seema Shandil says the public should exercise caution and do their due diligence before handing over any money to anyone claiming to offer rental properties.

She says always verify the authenticity of the property owner and the legitimacy of the property before making any payment and retain receipts as proof of payments.

Shandil says if someone you are dealing with claims to be a real estate agent, always request for valid photo ID to confirm the same.

She further says people need to become more inquisitive and ask the right questions to ensure they are not swindled by such crooks.

The Council is also urging anyone who has been a victim of this scam or has information about the scammer to come forward and report the matter to the nearest police station or to the Consumer Council of Fiji.

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