September 22, 2019

Fraudulent property dealers prey on investors with glitzy marketing schemes

Mr James Maina, one of the investors who claimed to have lost millions of shillings in Suraya Property Group projects, speaks to a journalist outside the Directorate of CriminaI Investigations offices on Kiambu Road on June 10. FILE PHOTO | NMG

“Getting your desired piece of land is not a walk in the park — you have to go through some legal processes to ensure the land you acquire is legitimate. Nowadays, land selling offices are all over and one wonders where all this land that is being sold on a daily basis is.

“Advertisements run throughout on radio, television and newspapers. People believe the media too much and end up being conned. Media outlets should stop such adverts,” Ms Moreen Nkonge, a resident of Kiambu, said in the Daily Nation on June 3, 2018. She also called for regulating of land advertising and control of brokerage firms, some of which have caused many Kenyans untold suffering in fake land deals advertised in the media.

Many players in the sector share Ms Nkonge’s concerns.

Today, the media are awash with advertisements running back-to-back, marketing land deals mostly in Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Nakuru, Kajiado, Nyandarua, Laikipia and Malindi.

The companies, including some which have turned out to be rogue, have been competing for airtime during prime time, where directors cough millions to secure advertising slots to reach out to potential buyers as they seek to cash in on the high demand for property ownership.

Some firms even hire celebrities and media personalities as their ambassadors to create confidence but leave their clients in tears after failing to meet their obligations despite receiving hard earned cash.