A HONGKONG real estate agent has warned buyers about companies which allegedly con clients in property scams. Mrs Anne Connell hit out at one London company, which has been accused of duping people into handing over cash in the belief their homes would be sold to Hongkong buyers. Dozens of people allegedly paid up to $10,000 but no homes had been sold a year later. Mrs Connell, the treasurer of the Society of Hongkong Real Estate Agents, said such companies gave the whole industry a bad name. ''They are allegedly taking money up front from people in Britain,'' she said. ''They are taking advantage of people who are perhaps having a great deal of difficulty selling their home. ''It is very immoral. People are also reading about it and thinking that everyone does the same. ''I want to make it clear that is not the case. We have a code of conduct and abide by that.'' Mrs Connell, whose own firm has just signed a contract to sell British property in Hongkong, said customers should always go to agents which were members of recognised societies. Her firm, Connell and Chan Associates, only took a fee once a property had been sold. In London, the firm allegedly involved in the scam has reportedly claimed it will investigate any complaints. The BBC's Watchdog programme claimed phone salesmen told clients eager to sell their homes that Hongkong buyers were queueing up to invest in the British market. They said the houses would be sold, in some cases, within 90 days. Prospective buyers were being flown in to look at properties and an ''international showcase advertising campaign'' was being launched. That often amounted to a small advert in the publication called International Property Review , which is circulated with a Hongkong newspaper. The programme claimed that none of the people it had spoken to had managed to sell their homes through the company. Connell and Chan Associates had joined forces with HSP International to sell British properties to expatriates and residents. HSP is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents. An exhibition of property in London and the Southampton area, in the south of England, was planned for Hongkong in June. Mrs Connell said her firm, which was formed 10 years ago, had previous experience selling British property to Hongkong investors.