The Ghana Police Service has advised the general public, particularly those seeking accommodation to rent, to always endeavor to do due diligence in order to ascertain the rightful owner of the property in order to avoid being duped by fake agents.
The Service is worried that the trend of fake housing agents duping unsuspecting accommodation seekers is on the rise, based on the high number of reported cases.
‘’In recent times if we look at the reports we are getting and the trend that we are seeing, we realize that there is an increase in the number of quack agents who play on the desperation of accommodation seekers. They connive with others who act as the landlords and they take you to them to pay the rent advance. And then when you pack in, you realize that you have been duped’’
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Afia Tenge who is the Greater Accra Regional Police Public Relations Officer says accommodation seekers must also endeavor to take photographs of the agents with or without their consent and make them aware that they want to use the picture to trace or report them should they try to abscond with their monies.
According her, the accommodation seekers must also ask for banking details of the owner or landlord in order to pay the rent advance in the owner’s name, in order that he or she may obtain some evidence in the event that things go bad along the line.
DSP Afia Tenge said the police have been able to apprehend some of the culprits and who are currently standing trial in court and will be punished soon.
‘’The best you can do as an accommodation seeker is to do everything possible to get to know the actual owner of the property. Sometimes it may be difficult but you still have to try and go out of your way to do that’’ she said.
Find below a statement issued by the police and signed by DSP Afia Tenge on the subject.