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.