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January 19, 2013
Star News


House-renting scam busted

Rasbert Turner, Star Writer

A Portmore, St Catherine, man who is said to be a serial fraudster, has been charged with one count of obtaining money by means of false pretence.

The Waterford police charged the man on Wednesday. His name has been withheld as he is to face a series of identification parades. THE STAR was informed that the man was picked up in a sting operation.

Reports said in December the suspect advertised a house for rent. A woman responded and was convinced to pay him $20,000 as down payment. The woman waited for over a month and calls to the suspect went unanswered.

She saw another advertisement with a different cellular phone number. When she called, it was the same name and voice, but she was asked to pay down $30,000.

Police were contacted, a sting operation was set up and the accused reportedly held.

Investigators said that dozens of receipts showing down payments for houses island wide were discovered during the operation. There were also receipts for advertisements taken out in the press.

The suspect is being considered as the mastermind in a fraud ring where persons have been duped of their money. Police said the accused man's mode of operation is to place ads of houses for rent, collect the monies and disappear. The police said sometimes people are shown other persons houses or unoccupied buildings.

The Waterford police said people who may have fallen victim to this scam, are being asked to contact Detective Corporal Smith at 456-7087 or 988-1763.

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