Rental scam investigated


Private security company Reaction Unit South Africa is currently investigating a real estate scam allegedly operated by a female in Phoenix and surrounding areas. Rusa boss, Prem Balram said the victims had viewed property for rental either online or visited premises with “TO LET” signboards advertised by reputable estate agencies.

“They would then call the mobile number advertised and would meet an agent at the property. The Indian female who introduced herself as an estate agent for the company would show them the property and then settle on a monthly rental. She asked for the deposit in cash and a monthly rental to be paid into an account under a person’s name,” said Balram.

He said the victims in all of the cases had paid the deposit and a months rent in advance, prior to moving in. And within months
of living in the property, they are then forced to move out and the locks changed.

Balram said: “According to the victims, they had paid several months of rent and lived on the property  before being approached by the owner who was surprised to find tenants in his vacant home. The estate agency who had a mandate to rent the property out and home owner had no knowledge of this agreement that was signed and received no payments.” Upon further investigation, the signboards were found to have had stickers with the suspects mobile number pasted over the original print. Balram said that the con woman who is believed to be residing in Phoenix, has since changed her number when contacted by the authorities.