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HDC apartment buildings at Corinth Hills, San Fernando.

Otto Carrington

Many citizens are desperately in need of houses and scam artists are taking advantage of this need and demand by luring many that they can pay and be able to get a home.

Only a week ago, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) issued a statement warning citizens of the increase of scams.

In the release, the HDC warned citizens that all transactions related to the allocation of HDC units, are conducted by appropriately identified officials within the relevant departments at the HDC office.

Guardian Media met with a young mother who shared her experience after she was almost scammed.

The young mother who wanted to remain anonymous told us about her experience.

“It is very interesting, how I got in contact with a man allegedly named (name called), which started with a phone call to my work, with him asking for an ex-employee. He then started to tell me about his reason for calling as he was calling from the HDC,” she said.

She shared messages that she received from the man proposing to be an agent of the HDC.

She said they started talking via the Whatsapp messenger platform and he shared videos of the house that she would be receiving and told her that within a week she would have been awarded a home.

“He never wanted to meet and when we were to meet he made up excuses,” she said.

She added that he sent forms and other documents carrying the HDC logo and official letterheads.

“He appeared legit as he spoke with confidence that he can assist me.”

“Things started to go awry when he asked me to wire $20,000 to him for me to be able to get the home but it was when I asked him for documents for me to carry to my financial institution as I don’t have that kind of money in my house, he told me that this was the procedure of the HDC and if I do not do it this way then I will not get the house”, she said.

Since she did not make the bank wire transfer the fake HDC agent has since disappeared.

The HDC in their guidelines to the public said that payments for housing units are also made at the cashier’s unit in full view of the cameras. Further, the HDC noted that it will never use an intermediary to collect funds on its behalf nor will the HDC sanction payments or transfers to personal accounts.

The young mother is calling on citizens to be aware of scam artists that can take your hard-earned money.

Three years ago, the HDC also saw an increase in scams and implemented a multi-media scammers alert campaign which led to a decrease in reported incidents of housing scams.