Abetment in Fraud by Nobroker
The purpose of this blog is to make people aware of the rental frauds that are carried out by crooks such as Mohammed Abdul Raheem on unsuspecting house hunters and how NoBroker.in is promoting such scams.
Below is the description of my harrowing experience with Nobroker:
I started my search for a rental house in March 2017. I looked up the usual online portals to review houses. After some research, I subscribed to the ‘Money Back Guarantee’ plan of INR 5999 with NoBroker.
The primary reason I opted for the paid plan with NoBroker was that I did not want to deal with brokers and agents.
NoBroker makes the following claims on its website:
- “We make sure that each property is verified and directly from the owner”
- “We have painstakingly verified each listing and made sure that these are direct owners or shared accommodation parties and there are no middlemen or brokers. We use lot of heuristics and techniques to ensure that you get a totally broker free list.”
After purchasing the plan, NoBroker assigned me a Relationship Manager — Sheik Touhid and assured me that they will send me recommendations as per my requirements, connect me with genuine house owners and assist in signing the contract besides other services
I liked one of the properties shared by Sheik Touhid. It was a beautiful house, the rent was in my budget and the location could not have been better. Sheik arranged a call and then a meeting with the house owner — Rahil.
I met up Rahil, the house owner at the property. He introduced himself as a Corporate Trainer with Oracle.I really liked the house and ignored the instinct that there was something not right about the guy.
I expressed my interest in the house and Rahil said that he could meet up next week with the rental agreement. We agreed on Rs. 1.75 lakh as security deposit and Rs. 26.5K as monthly rent. He asked me to transfer a token amount to him.
Before transferring the amount, I did a google search on his name. I could not find anything, no Facebook account, no LinkedIn profile, nothing. I called up Sheik Touhid, the NoBroker relationship manager, to confirm that they had conducted a proper background verification on this guy and that all was green. Sheik confirmed that they had done a background check, that Rahil was the genuine owner of the house and that I need not worry about a thing. “Seal the deal! Congratulations on finding the perfect house.”, he said.
Little did I know what was afoot, so I went ahead and signed the contract with Rahil and soon we moved in to the house. I continued living there and transferred the rent every month.
A month and a half after moving in, I received a call from a certain Mr. Prashant from the US telling me that he was the actual owner of the house and Rahil had duped him and was also cheating me. He asked me to either get in a direct contract with him by paying Rs. 2 lakhs and monthly rent of Rs. 33K or vacate the house.
I called up Rahil and he explained that he had been in an arrangement with Mr. Prashant for the house. He said that the house was on company lease and he was subletting the house in agreement with the owner, Prashant. He mentioned that there had been a delay in money transfer and therefore Prashant was getting impatient. He assured me that he would get it all sorted.
I was not convinced with his story. This all sounded complicated and not exactly legal. Rahil then said that I should get in a direct contract with Prashant, the actual owner and that he would return my deposit.
Even after constant follow ups and multiple phone calls, Rahil never returned my money.
I reached out to NoBroker because they had repeatedly assured me that Rahil was the actual owner. Connecting people with genuine owners is how they distinguish themselves from others in the market. Unfortunately, even after multiple phone calls and emails, I got no response from them. They seemed to have completely washed their hands off the situation.
At this point, on doing an online search to learn if there had been any other instances of such crimes and how the victims have handled it, I came across another victim of fraud through NoBroker by the same guy- Mohammed Abdul Raheem: https://flatfraud.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/fraud-through-nobroker-in/
The fact that there have been other victims who have been duped by Mohammed Abdul Raheem through NoBroker but still he boldly continues to post advertisements and find preys on NoBroker suggests that they have a deeper alliance.
NoBroker failed miserably on its commitment of connecting users to genuine owners. They failed to do a proper background verification on the imposter who was posing as the house owner. The details printed in the advertisement were misleading and incorrect. Despite constant follow ups and bringing this major lapse to their attention, they conveniently ignored all the calls and emails and did not even move a finger to fix the issue.
I have now initiated legal action against both the impostor (posing as landlord) as well as NoBroker via an FIR at the Whitefield Police Station and also in Consumer Court. I will be sharing updates on the proceedings of the same here on this blog.
In light of my experiences and the nightmarish experience I am going through due to the complete negligence and lack of professionalism on NoBroker’s part, I would advise all that are new to the city and are considering using NoBroker for their rental requirements to strongly reconsider using them if you value your time and your money.