Bogus Agents A Concern
There are a lot of bogus agents operating in the country, selling properties especially in the Western Division, according to the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB).
Most of them are said to be targeting islands to sell. While some of them are locals, a few are known to be coming from overseas and advertising in social media to sell properties in Fiji.
One case in particular was of someone coming from overseas and trying to sell an island for US$18 million (FJ$39,165,300) in the Lomaiviti Group.
Considering the increase in bogus agents, REALB will carry out a roadshow in the Western Division this week with the Consumer Council of Fiji to create awareness on the issue. REALB chairman Abdul Hassan said the bogus agents were not only of concern to the Board but for the general public too. “There are a lot of bogus agents who are not registered. They just come up anyhow through different means, some of them pretending to help friends sell their properties,” he said. “Some of them come from overseas and look for properties to sell.
“There was an island up for sale for US$18 million (FJ$39,165,300) near Koro Island and someone from Savusavu alerted us about this.
“We monitor these bogus agents who mostly use Facebook and we cross check with our register to see whether they are registered as real estate agents or not.” Mr Hassan said the bogus agents were of concern to everyone as they could take money from people and just disappear. He said there was a possibility that the bogus agents may have taken money from some people for the sale of properties.
“We recently found out that a lady was selling some properties and she was saying that she’s helping a friend. She said she was the wife of a Police officer. But she later withdrew from selling the properties,” he said. “We have given cases of some bogus agents to the Police and we have about 20 cases that are pending with Police right now. “It involves a lot of money as these bogus agents collect commission.
“We are aware of a lot of bogus agents operating in the West who are targeting to sell islands.”
Increase bogus agents
Mr Hassan said considering the increase in the number of bogus agents, the Board had organised the first-ever roadshow starting in Lautoka tomorrow.
The roadshow in Lautoka will be held at the Sugar City Mall from 10am to 3pm, at Nair’s Dais in Nadi between the same time on Thursday and next to ANZ Bank in Sigatoka from 10am to 2pm on Friday.
“This is the first roadshow that we are organising to carry out an intensive awareness on the bogus agents and the Consumer Council will also be with us,” said Mr Hassan.
Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said yesterday that three cases were pending in court, one had been filed for insufficient evidence while 12 were still pending investigations.
While some of them are locals, a few are known to be coming from overseas and advertising in social media to sell properties in Fiji.
Real Estate Agents Licensing Board staff Azal Hussein and Rosalia Camaiverata monitoring the activities on social media.