Fake property agents in rental scams with at least S$1.8 million lost – kopiandproperty.com

Singapore property news: Fake property agents in rental scams with at least S$1.8 million lost

Scammers are everywhere, even in Singapore yeah

It is important to always note all the ways which scammers are trying to scam people. Always read, always share because you do not know if the next victim could be your family member, friend or co-workers. This one happened in Singapore and it’s related to the property market. Many of these victims were scammed when they were pressured to pay money in order to secure viewing or even rental of a property.

I know, you must be thinking that why need to pay money just to secure viewing or renting? Why not view first and decide later? Sometimes, it seems like an amazing deal. A property in a neighbourhood you love is suddenly available and you are told that there is a long queue to view it because of the very attractive price. So, if you want to secure a viewing, you should pay a deposit.

In your mind you are thinking that since the price is so attractive, this deposit will surely be used anyway. So you paid the ‘deposit.’ Perhaps this will be hard to happen in Malaysia now since every property these days are doing their best to attract potential buyers and highly unlikely to even ask for deposit just to view. Is this what happened? Read on to find out.

Article in channelnewsasia.com At least 287 victims have fallen prey to rental scams involving fake property agents between July and November, with total losses amounting to at least S$1.8 million (US$1.34 million), police said in a news release on Monday (Dec 11).

Victims would typically respond to sponsored property rental listings on various online platforms or websites such as Facebook, Carousell and rental advertisement sites, with the largest number of victims responding to listings on Facebook. 

They would generally interact with the scammers through WhatsApp using the contact numbers in the rental listing. During their exchange, the scammers would pretend to be a property agent registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). 

They would convince the victims of their credentials by sending pictures of their CEA registration number, business cards, as well as pictures or videos or virtual tours of the rental property. 

When the victims asked if they could view the property, the scammers would claim that there was a high demand to rent the property. They would then pressure the victims into making deposits to secure the property.  Please do read the full article with all the details here: Article in channelnewsasia.com

It’s strictly only dealing with CEA property agents in Singapore

I understand from my friends that there are hardly any full-time property agents who are not registered with CEA. Despite this, the scammers are still able to prey on potential victims. Now imagine if there was no strict control and there are even more of the ‘property brokers’ who tells you that they just do part-time. Or that they don’t like all the rules which is making it hard for them. Or that they don’t like to share the commission with the agency etc.

it could be anything but just bear in mind that without an agency, then it’s even harder to track down these scammers later yeah. Always remember to be vigilant and when the deal is just too good to be true, there’s no way it is only for you and you alone. Think logically. If a property is priced super attractively, the agent would have bought it lah. Else, the agent’s family members. Else, the agent’s friends. Truth is… why need to offer to the public and why offer to you?

Happy thinking.

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