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Lesson: Sort term apt rentals in NYC are illegal - and often scams

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So, this morning as I was leaving my building I find 2 young Italian women - with their luggge - standing on the doorstep. They try to enter as I leave and I stop them - asking who they re going to see. They inform me they have rented apt 8 M for a week - but can't find the bell to ring.

I explain that the building only has 6 floors and no M apts - they are in the wrong place.

They show me an email from someone named "George" with an incomprehensible gmail account name - whom they have paid (wire transfer) to rent an apt in this building. It indeed says this on the email.

I explain either the address was typed incorrectly - or they have been scammed - and suggest they call "George" for more info - but they don't have a phone number or address for him.

I sent them to the police station (to get hooked up with traveler's aide) and reco'd a nearby hostel (horrors - they want a luxury apt). Don;t know what they did - they were standing in front of the building discussing when I ran for a cab.

Reminder: Short-term apt rentals in NYC are almost all illegal.And many listings on Craig's list are scams. Especially those that won't supply last names, phone numbers and addresses (of the renter - not the apt).

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