Estate agency Huttons warns of scams involving fake estate agents

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SINGAPORE — Landlords and tenants are urged to beware of scammers posing as estate agents, estate agency Huttons Group said.

In a statement on Monday, March 14, the group said the scam came to its attention after individuals posing as estate agents allegedly defrauded tenants of money.

The scammers allegedly pretend to be estate agents by uploading fake ads on alternative platforms and using fake Council of Estate Agents (CEA) ID cards.

The CEA is a government body that regulates real estate agencies in Singapore.

A spokesperson for Huttons told the Straits Times that the scams targeted people looking to rent property.

The scammers told potential tenants to pay a deposit before they even visited a unit.

Once the payment was made, the scammers became unreachable.

In another scam, tenants were presented with a rental agreement that required their signature and asked them to make a deposit to “secure the unit first.”

Huttons said: “Once transfers are made, the possibility of recovery is very low. As such, consumers remain the first line of defense against such scams.”

Mr Yeo Chin Hao, Huttons legal counsel, said the agency wanted to alert the public to how these scams work and ensure that they do not fall victim to them.

“We work closely with the CEA to educate other real estate agents and members of the public,” Mr. Yeo said.

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