MASVINGO – Scores of home seekers in Masvingo are losing their hard-earned cash to bogus estate agents that have mushroomed on WhatsApp platforms.
Home-seekers are being made to pay US$50 to view houses to rent or buy that are not even on the market. When a home-seeker shows interest in a house after viewing, he or she is told that the house is taken or the rent is hiked several times to put him or her off.
In other instances, the bogus agents can just disappear after receiving payment for viewing. One house is viewed by many people and sometimes none of them gets it.
Police Spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa warned the public against using unregistered agents when looking for houses. He said it is a criminal offence for unregistered estate agents to demand payment for viewing and urged members of the public to report such people to the Police.
A woman who spoke to The Mirror on condition of anonymity narrated her encounter with suspects on a WhatsApp group called Rhodhenehood
The Mirror called some of the agents.
An agent from Rhodhene suburb said that he charges consultation fee of US$10 and $50 if it’s a full house or more than one room then he can start looking for a house.