This post is to guide you on how to choose your next property to rent. I am not an expert and therefore not liable for any losses you may suffer alright?
I recently almost got scammed for this really beautiful Service Apartment in Bangsar South known as South View. It’s a really decent place and the price they offered was way too cheap. I thought, hey that’s a steal! And so did a lot of my friends.
My friend and I had been talking to this guy named, Benny who would never pick up his calls but replies us on WhatsApp. We thought that because he was the owner of the house, and a lot of people wanted it, it would be fair to expect him to only want to reply messages.
Well, that isn’t the case.
When we went to view the place, it was super sweet and the two of us got really excited. We thought we’d meet Benny himself but nope, he hired another guy to bring us around. Fair enough, rich man owning this property must be fairly busy.
So we were all sailing through this until we got our agreement.
One thing these scammers probably did not expect were smart students – let alone a law student.
The agreement was badly draft and in my humble opinion, ugly (I am sort of a OCD person who needs things numbered and justified).
So that aroused my suspicion and so I started off with an investigation of my own – this is something you should do as well.
Source Image: http://buddhism-lifehack.com/tarikihongan
Is he an agent or owner?
Benny was not the owner but the agent!
Fun Fact: All property agents have a license number and so if he were to be an agent, there would be a license number beside his name.
2nd Fun Fact: A valid agent will call you and talk to you about your property – not Whatsapp.
Go to this website: http://search.lppeh.gov.my/
It depends if your agent is a – Real Estate Agent or Real Estate Negotiator. The latter is a newbie who works for the former. Their codes are REAxxxx or RENxxxxx.
So that was the first clue!
Does the company exist?
City First Solutions, the company he works for does not exist!
Apparently, this company has been scamming A LOT of students who want a good decent place to stay. So if you ever see this company name, ABORT THE AGREEMENT.
What I did was I went to the Companies’ Registrar website to search for the company based on their registration number:
Every company has a registration number so you just have to check if it has an alphabet behind the numbers or not and follow through the website’s instructions!
If you have made payment already, lodge a police report immediately!
If you have not, great. Spread the word around because that means they’re in your neighbourhood now.
So who owns the unit?
The supposed owner, Mr Yong does not exist either
I did a background check on Mr Yong and granted, his IC number was on the paper and so I went ahead and searched around at various places that could validate IC numbers. It’s insane and all so spy-ish but trust me, I was worried when he didn’t exist.
Checking with the Management
Call the Management Office to confirm your owner
Another insane thing I did was to call South View to ensure that Mr Yong owned the unit. While it is fair that they cannot say who owns it, they can deny a wrong owner to which they did.
JENG JENG JENG. Does this all sound insane to you? It did to me because I had an insane adrenaline rush back then.
Though I wanted to get this whole thing sorted out, help the police and the management office catch these people. Unfortunately, they were not very helpful. Neither parties were. The former was busy and lacked manpower due to elections while the latter, simply did not want to get involve. South View Bangsar South is a property of the UOA Group. Disappointing much?
Anyway, I saw that a lot of students were liasing with Benny because he sent me screenshots of the other conversations, probably to rush me into a deal. Hence, I decided to write this because this only goes on to show that there’s A LOT of people being scammed.
If you know of anyone getting involved, please make a police report or just WARN EVERYONE TO BE CAREFUL.
Image Source: http://midcentury.com/dont-be-scammed/
If you’re wondering how they managed to pull it off, and how the heck do they have the keys to the unit? Let me tell you something genius on their part.
They rent the unit via Airbnb, get the keys and get a 3rd person to bring you around the unit. Hence, they have the keys and why the rooms look so darn pretty. Someone should warn Airbnb as well as their hosts on them being a part of a scam!
Smart? I’d give them half the credit.
Regardless dear friends, please do your own research okay?
Image Source: https://whatismyipaddress.com/latest-scams
Disclaimer: None of these images are owned by me
PS: thanks to the friends who helped me out!
UPDATE 4TH MAY 2018:
Another man got scammed and his friends actually moved into the house only to be chased away by the owners the next morning. PLEASE PLEASE, share and spread the word.