Watch out for online scam as 2 Estate Agents arrested for Tonaton fraud

Two men are in the grip of the police for allegedly advertising a house on an online trading platform to defraud a lady.

Tonaton

The Kwabenya Police arrested two estate agents for attempting to defraud a lady under the pretext of renting a house to her.

A lady was duped on an online marketing platform known as Tonaton and it all happened when the lady said she was in dire need of accommodation after she saw photos of some apartments and contact number on Tonaton, advertising the accommodation for rent.

DSP Mrs. Afia Tenge, the Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, said the lady reported to the police of how the suspects duped her.

The suspects, Mohammed Surag aged 29, and Yaw Darko, 26, are in police custody assisting in investigations.

The lady narrating her ordeal said she called the number and the person who picked up the call claimed to be an estate agent and confirmed he had put out those pictures of the apartments for rent with the intention of attracting prospective tenants.

She said "Finding the apartment decent, she expressed interest and followed up on it and her enquiries led her to the two suspects who both claimed to be landlord and agent respectively" adding that Mohammed acted as the landlord, Yaw Darko, acted as the estate agent.

Mohammed who acted as the landlord and agent arranged for a meeting with the complainant and on September 18, 2020, and they both led her to East Legon and showed some apartments to her.

DSP Tenge said the suspects gave the apartment to the complainant at GH¢1,000.00 per month for two years and after negotiations, the lady gave them a cheque with a face value of GHc12,000.00 for them to cash.

The suspects after receiving the cheque then presented it to the bank on the same day, but they were told the said amount could only be transferred to their accounts.

DSP Tenge added that the suspects after going to the bank and not able to cash the money then called the lady that they owed their banks so they could not transfer the money into their bank accounts and, therefore, requested physical cash.

She stated that the complainant suspected the two men to be fraudsters and informed the Police who subsequently followed up and arrested them.

The suspects admitted to the offence in their respective caution statements.

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