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Another apartment rental scam in NYC

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Jun 11th, 2013, 10:16 AM
  #1
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Another apartment rental scam in NYC

Got a call a few minutes ago from a friend who lives in a small co-op on the next block. Coming back from doing errands she found a family from FL, parents and 3 kids, in front of her building (a 5 story walk-up) looking for the apartment they "rented" for the week.

Unfortunately they didn't do even basic checking ( a look at google earth would have shown a brownstone versus a luxury high rise at this address) and they were stuck with only an email and cell phone that no one was responding to. Naturally the person who rented them the apartment had nothing to do with the building - or the co-op at all.

Apparently they had found it on Craig's list - and yes, paid in advance.

She helped them find a hotel in the area - but 2 rooms since there were 5 of them - but only because there had been a cancellation.

So - if coming to New York and not reserving a hotel - be sure you are not being scammed. Do not pay anything until you have full details and proof of reliability. Remember than anyone can place an ad, Or, better yet, stay at a real hotel or legal B^B.
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Jun 11th, 2013, 10:18 AM
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Sad situation. Your friend was very kind to help out. Thanks for the warning, ny.
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Jun 11th, 2013, 12:12 PM
  #3
cw
 
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There was just a case of getting scammed on TA for a Boston apartment rented from Craigslist. It is a real (legal) rental apartment but someone just stole the VRBO description and put it on Craigslist.

Thanks for bringing this up again. Hoping it will help some people.
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Jun 11th, 2013, 01:43 PM
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I guess they must have sent a check that had been cashed already.
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Jun 12th, 2013, 12:20 PM
  #5
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Don't know all the details - just that they paid in advance. Not unusual for an apt versus hotel.

But people really do need to investigate before paying - especially in NY - where this is almost always illegal (even if not a scam).
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Jun 12th, 2013, 12:47 PM
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Doubt they sent a check. Most crooks request a money order, which can't be traced. Anyone who sends a money order almost deserves to be ripped off. I believe even Craigslist tells you that right on their site, or at least they used to.
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Jun 12th, 2013, 01:21 PM
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Yes. From the Craigslist site under vacation rentals/avoiding scams:

"NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer."
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:17 AM
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THE ULTIMATE apt scam was just detailed in The New Yorker...great read...


http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...fa_fact_friend
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Jun 18th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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I hate those websites where you have to register and then receive daily emails in order to read a single article!
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Jun 18th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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Actually, you have to subscribe (as in pay a subscription fee) to be able to read that one online.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 03:04 PM
  #11
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For those of us who don;t subscribe how about a 2 sentence summary of who was cheated how? (In this case the apt did exist? Did he not own it? Did he rent it to a zilion tenants? did he sell if multiple times?)
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Jun 19th, 2013, 10:02 AM
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The apartment in Chelsea was a rent stabilized large loft owned by a photographer who took deposits for sublet from many people simultaneously. It took the owner of the apt, who lived upstairs, years and years to get rid of him. You can probably find details on the web. The author of the story is Tad Friend..will try to recall the perps name.
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Jun 19th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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The apartment’s owner and impresario was a photographer named Michael Tammaro
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Jun 19th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Here is a bit more detail:


http://michaeltammaronyc.wordpress.com/
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Jun 19th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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>>The apartment’s owner and impresario was a photographer named Michael Tammaro<<

Michael Tammaro didn't own the apartment. I feel sorry for the woman who does own it. The article ekscrunchy linked is, I think, a mostly verbatim copy of the New Yorker article.
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Jun 19th, 2013, 10:54 AM
  #16
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Well this nut must be themsater. But there are a lot more out there doing it on a smaller scale.

Really - always be sure who you are dealing with before you sign or pay for anything.
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Jun 19th, 2013, 11:18 AM
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This was a bizarre story with some surprising twists.

The guy is going to be sentenced in two days from now. Maybe someone from New York could post back if he actually goes to jail.
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Jun 19th, 2013, 11:44 AM
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Wow--what a story! That would make a good movie.
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 11:26 AM
  #19
 
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Well over half of the vacation rentals for NYC I found on CL and even VRBO were scams.
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Jun 23rd, 2013, 12:57 PM
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I just read that New Yorker story last week, on the heels of reading Jon Ronson's "The Psychopath Test". Interesting intersection of subject matter!

I highly recommend both if you have any interest at all in the human psyche.
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