Real estate agent's photo used in fake property deals

Real estate agent's photo used in fake property deals

KUALA LUMPUR - A man got a shock when his photograph was allegedly misused by individuals posing as real estate agents to con shoplot owners.

Lim Kim Chuan, a real estate agent, said he was on his way to Johor on June 23 when a friend called him to enquire if he had left his company.

"When I told my friend that I was still with the same real estate agency, she told me that someone had printed business cards with my photo and shared these with potential clients.

"I checked and found out that it was indeed my photo. I also found out that some people have been using the business cards to dupe shop owners into dealing with them," Lim said at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau here yesterday. He later lodged a report at the Travers police station.

Lim, 34, said he felt the need to clarify that he was in no way linked to this group, adding that his "credibility as a real estate agent is at stake".

MCA Public Service and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong said the conmen had been active since May after a year-long hiatus.

"They were active two years ago but when news broke, they stopped to let the issue die down before starting again," he said.

Chong said the group would study their targets before approaching and providing details of someone from a real estate agency.

"They usually go after owners whose properties have been vacant for a long time. One would pose as an agent and the other as the assistant. They would then call and set up a meeting, telling them that 'tenants' from established companies were interested in renting the shoplots," he said.

The group would then issue a cheque with a three-month deposit as a sign of agreement and demand for a commission to be made out to their names instead of their agency. The cheques would later bounce.

"They would say that they want to save on income tax payments," Chong said. "I would like to remind shoplot owners to always check directly with the company to avoid being conned by these people."

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