Fraud alert: Fake Facebook account offering housing services a scam

A number of persons are presently being contacted through social media with regards to opportunities of obtaining lands and/or houses from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) but Government said that this is a fraudulent act.
The CH&PA on Monday said that it has no arrangements in place with GTT Mobile Money to accept payments for land, housing units or any other services offered by the agency.
“It has come to our attention that members of the public were being contacted through Facebook about the possibility of purchasing lands or housing units from the agency by someone purporting to be Minister Valarie Patterson-Yearwood. The Facebook profile is a fake; in fact, the Minister does not have a Facebook profile,” the CH&PA stated.
The agency said that it will be in contact with the police on the matter but members of the public are advised “to make contact with the agency’s enforcement unit in relation to complaints on the payment for lands, housing units or any other services being offered via the Facebook page”.
In December 2017, the CH&PA had been investigating a scam in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) involving the sale of lands by an individual not authorised to conduct business on behalf of the agency.
The issue had been brought to the CH&PA’s attention and indicated that a woman, claiming to represent the agency, scammed several persons of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At that time, the CH&PA stated that there were several other instances of the same scam artist eliciting money from vulnerable people, but noted that the victims are unwilling to come forward.
The agency reiterated that all payments relating to the sale of land or housing units from the Central Housing and Planning Authority must be done at the agency’s Georgetown head office, Regional Housing Offices or Regional Democratic Council.
In May 2017, the Office of First Lady Sandra Granger received many reports that residents of Georgetown and other areas in Guyana have been approached via phone calls and text messages with requests for payment in return for the opportunity to gain scholarships.
According to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency, the First Lady wanted to make it clear that her office has no such programme and would not request cash from private citizens.
“Further, should anyone receive any such request, they should immediately report it to the nearest police station so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice,” the release concluded.