Fiji’s real estate agencies express concern over the threat posed by fraudulent agents to the thriving sector.
Instances have emerged where individuals post property images and deceitfully promote enticing offers, misleading unsuspecting clients both locally and internationally.
Bayshore Fiji Real Estate Director Arif Khan says this is a global scam, with scammers constantly devising new methods to exploit people.
“If you’re out of the country or out of the area, you should have a relative visit the house, you know. I think those are the main two things that could avoid them getting into this scam, you know.”
Khan says that out of desperation to occupy a rental flat or buy a property at the lowest price, people forget to do background checks.
Bayleys Real Estate Limited Managing Director Philip Toogood highlights that, apart from bogus agents, they have issues with offshore agents.
“We have a problem sometimes with offshore real estate companies trying to sell Fiji property without any knowledge necessarily of either the property or, in fact, the market. So there needs to be some tightening of regulations with respect to those agents who are unlicensed in Fiji. They may be licensed at home, in New Zealand or Australia, but not in Fiji.”
Fijians are being advised to only make deals with authorized agents.