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Residents in Barking and Dagenham warned over housing scam

Barking and Dagenham Council are warning residents to be vigilant for scams online (credit:BDCouncil)

Residents in Barking and Dagenham are being warned to be vigilant of online advertising scams which promise people access to council homes.

This follows a spate of complaints from residents and in some cases, people ending up paying out thousands of pounds for social housing they could obtain for free if they applied themselves.

In one instance the scam, which is being posted on social media apps including Tik Tok, Snapchat and Instagram purportedly advertise homes and flats in the borough for rent.

The dubious adverts from a social media handle @cutie_achiever advertised properties in Barking and Dagenham, asking prospective victims to contact them via WhatsApp for more information with a promise to move into the property within 12 months.

Once contacted and payment made, the fraudsters claim to be able to help with the application including uploading fake documents for those who do not meet the criteria or are not entitled to social housing without the victims realising they are being scammed.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “Barking and Dagenham Council will not make such claims on social media and where we offer housing options, our residents know where to go and who to contact.

“I will advise people who are tempted by these outrageous and too good to be true offers to first check with the council or report to the police.”

For advice or to report a scam, people can contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or their website and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online.

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