Fraudster impersonates councillor to scam HDC home seekers

Point Fortin mayor Saleema Thomas.
Point Fortin mayor Saleema Thomas.

THE Fraud Squad is investigating another scam in which a councillor with the Point Fortin Borough Corporation is being impersonated by a fraudster who has been trying to fleece potential Housing Development Corporation (HDC) homeowners of substantial sums.

Point Fortin mayor Saleema Thomas, who is on maternity leave, confirmed the investigation. She denounced the impersonation and called on the public to be aware, communicate with only legitimate and authorised representatives of the agencies, and report any suspicious activity.

“Anyone who engages in any business or transactions with the said imposters do so at their own risk,” she cautioned.

The councillor at the centre of the scam is Lyndon Harris who is distancing himself from this fraudulent act.

Harris, the representative for Techier/Guapo, is warning potential homeowners to follow the natural process and not be careless with their hard-earned money.

He said he has reported the matter to the Point Fortin police, but the HDC, as well as National Security, have also begun separate investigations.

Thomas posted a disclaimer on her Facebook page in which she revealed that some burgesses received calls from a man claiming to be Harris.

She said the caller identified himself and told the recipients he was acting on behalf of Point Fortin MP and former mayor Kennedy Richards Jr, informing them that their HDC applications have been approved.

Richards did not answer his phone when Newsday tried to contact him for a response.

The potential homeowners were also advised, according to Thomas, to be prepared to make a downpayment for their three-bedroom units. A bank account number was provided to make the payment at a specified bank.

Harris said he did not know if anyone actually made the downpayment, but three individuals who informed him they were contacted between Saturday and Tuesday did not go through with the transaction.

“In this time when we are in a pandemic, when persons are already financially restricted, I just want to encourage persons to follow the correct channels and transact business only with bonafide representatives of the HDC and the financial agencies.

“The official financial agency for HDC is the TTMF (TT Mortgage Finance Company). Do not try to fast track your application, because that could be considered a bribe.


"Fraudster impersonates councillor to scam HDC home seekers"

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