Scammer Exposed for Housing Fraud

May 29, 2023

The Consumer Council of Fiji is is urging consumers to exercise caution when dealing with Sangita Maharaj, a notorious rental scammer who has been operating under various aliases on Facebook, including Geeta Sagar, Saagrika Sagar, Sangeeta Devi, Sangita Sharma, Sangita Sagar, Sangi, Savi, Rose Smith, and Shiv Enterprises. This individual has been orchestrating fraudulent schemes by falsely advertising houses for rent; which she does not own, to unsuspecting victims.

“The deceptive practices of Sangita Maharaj have primarily targeted potential tenants seeking affordable housing through Facebook. She advertises a flat located at Lot 16 Niubalavu Road, New Subdivision, Tacirua, at an attractive monthly rent of $600.00, accompanied by a rental bond of $600.00. However, upon receiving payments from hopeful applicants, Maharaj employs delay tactics, claiming that the flats are undergoing renovations or that previous tenants have yet to vacate the premises”, said Consumer Council of Fiji Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil.

Affected individuals have faced immense frustration as their pleas for refunds or information regarding the promised accommodations are consistently ignored by Sangita Maharaj. The Consumer Council has received a staggering number of 12 complaints against her, shedding light on the magnitude of her fraudulent activities and the detrimental impact on innocent victims.

Ms Shandil further added that Sangita Maharaj typically accepts payments through MPAiSA, bank transfers, or in-person transactions, adding another layer of complexity to her deceitful tactics. It is crucial for potential tenants to exercise extreme caution when engaging in financial transactions with individuals offering rental properties, especially when dealing with aliases associated with Sangita Maharaj.

Consumers are advised to remain vigilant and take preventive measures to avoid falling victim to rental scams. Prospective tenants should verify the authenticity of property listings, conduct thorough research on landlords or agents, and insist on proper documentation and legal agreements before making any payments.

The Council is working with the Criminal Investigations Division of the Fiji Police Force to ensure the said scammer is subjected to the full brunt of the law. Consumers who have faced similar issues are encouraged to contact the Council via the toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.