Saturday, July 18, 2015

Still scammin', now more than ever

From the Queens Chronicle:

There is an apparent rash of scams targeted at unsuspecting apartment hunters in parts of Western Queens.

According to the office of state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), several constituents have filed complaints that victims have given money in advance to agencies that promise to find an apartment to rent, describing themselves as “multi-service agencies,” and acting like a broker.

Many of those targeted are native Spanish speakers.

But, in some cases, said Peralta, the apartment promised as an option to a prospective tenant is not even on the market — with some landlords not even aware that an apartment would be shown as a rental possibility — and would-be tenants are left with their fees lost.

In one case, a constituent said that he gave an agency $3,000, according to Peralta’s office.

When the victim and his family moved into the unit, they discovered a gas leak and bed bugs.

One woman, who remained anonymous, said she was cheated out of $6,000 by someone she thought to be a real estate agent when trying to secure an apartment in Woodside at the beginning of June.

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