The Housing Development Company says that a number of fake social media profiles of executives and senior members of staff of the HDC have been recently created.
According to the HDC, these profiles use bonafide images of the executives and staff members and engage individuals, through online platforms, in an effort to defraud them of their hard-earned money.
The HDC says it is aware of the fraudsters’ efforts and has transferred all information to its security department for transmission to the Fraud Squad of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
The HDC says that its legal department is also actively reviewing the situation in an effort to take all necessary action against the perpetrators.
It says the impersonation of HDC staff and the attempts to defraud citizens are illegal and will not be tolerated.
The HDC says it understands the importance of shelter to the average low and middle-income citizen who is desirous of accessing Government-subsidised housing.
However, it says it is also cognizant that nefarious individuals have taken advantage of this demand for housing to expose members of the public to incidents of fraud where applicants may decide to pay cash in the hope of expediting their housing applications.
"We therefore wish to remind all citizens that if they have been selected for a government-subsidised home, they are required to pay their administrative fees or downpayment at one of the legitimate cashiers located at the HDC Head Office and receive an official receipt," the HDC said.
It noted that payment to any other party would mean that they would have been a victim of and/or participant in a fraudulent activity.
The HDC added that communication on any matter regarding the application and processing of public housing through social media channels does not form part of the HDC’s policy.
"We hope citizens will acquaint themselves with the correct procedures for the application and processing of public housing and therefore will be less vulnerable to those individuals who engage in identity theft, phishing and other types of online fraud with criminal motives," the statement said.