A couple’s dream of owning a piece of the rock has been dashed by an alleged fraudster.
More than a year after making a down payment on a plot of land in St Martin’s, St Philip, Janelle Coppin is no closer to finalizing the purchase on the plot on which she and her boyfriend intended to build the home of their dreams.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Coppin said to make matters worse, the man who “sold” her the land over a year ago was no longer accepting her calls, forcing her to turn to the police for assistance.
In recalling the details, Coppin said she found the man on FaceBook associated with a company.
She said he was advertising rent-to-own land lots in St Martin’s, St Patrick’s and Long Beach and Coppin said she called the number provided and spoke with him. She said she eventually met him at the site in St Martin’s Terrace where he showed her the plot of land he had for sale.
Coppin said she subsequently received a land agreement from the man which she showed to a friend who is an attorney-at-law. She admitted that she was advised not to make any payments on the property until title deeds were produced.
However, after being told by the “seller” that the land was in heavy demand she decided to pay a deposit to secure it.
“We wanted the land so bad and he told us that we had to pay $2000 to secure the spot so he wouldn’t advertise it anymore. He also said there were only two spots left and people were very interested in buying them.”
Coppin said she arranged to meet the man in SkyMall to pay the deposit.
That meeting aroused her suspicion somewhat since she expected to meet him at his office but he told her it was under renovations.
In addition, the way in which he was dressed also caught her attention but in spite of the red flags, she still paid the deposit.
She said things began to go downhill when she tried to get the title deeds from the man to whom she had handed over the money.
Coppin said whenever she enquired about the deeds he always gave an excuse as to why he could not provide them.
Fed up with being given the runaround, she said she asked for a refund, which he promised to give.
She maintained that despite several promises to return the money, months later she had not received a cent.
Coppin said she made a report at Central Police Station and was directed to the Fraud Squad.
She alleged that police officers told her they had received several complaints about the man and that they were investigating him.
The woman said what confirmed his dishonesty was when she told a friend to call him to see if he would answer. Not only did he answer, he also took the friend to the same plot of land on which she had paid the deposit.
Numerous attempts to reach the man for comment proved unsuccessful. ([email protected])