BY: ITWeb, Staff Writter.
Rental company Communicare has warned residents to be mindful of criminals taking advantage of the housing crisis in Cape Town.
The scammers create fake online profiles, make use of Communicare rental accommodation and pose as representatives of the company.
It says the scammers are quite professional in that they create their own application forms and request three months’ bank statements and identity documents. They also ask for consent to perform credit checks.
According to Communicare, there have been four cases in the last two weeks, where victims have been asked to pay application fees or deposits before viewing the rental units.
“Communicare will never ask for a deposit or any upfront payment when applying for a rental unit. All viewings are by appointment only and keys are only handed over once the applicant is successful and they have signed a lease agreement,” says Makhosi Kubheka, COO of Communicare.
The company says it is working with the police to ensure those responsible for the scam are brought to book.
“We are also doing all we can to assist those who have come forward and admitted to being scammed,” notes Kubheka.
The warning comes after in April police arrested seven suspects who were alleged to be online scammers, following a tip-off by a community member.
According to reports, the suspects terrorised unsuspecting people who were looking for vehicles and goods on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, respectively.
Says SAPS: “Scammers will go as far as to create fake online profiles and a believable digital footprint to fool unsuspecting victims. There are many scams going around and includes everything from service delivery, to farming and holiday rental – basically anywhere money is concerned.”
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