Aug. 24, 2018 By Tara Law
Police from the 115th precinct have issued a warning about a scammer who convinced four people in North Corona to hand over $2,300 apartment deposits— but never leased them an apartment.
Police say that between July 23 and Aug. 6, the victims— three men ages 42, 26, and 21, and a woman, 39— called the suspect after spotting flyers advertising apartments hanging in the North Corona area.
The suspect, who police say is a Hispanic man in his 30s, told the victims that he could provide them with suitable apartments, but that they had to provide them with the deposit— in cash.
The four victims met with the scammer and each handed over the $2,300 deposits. The suspect took their money, gave them the apartments’ addresses, and said he’d be in touch.
However, police say that the suspect stopped responding to victims phone calls and messages once he had their money in hand.
Several of the victims went to the address he had provided, only to find that other families were living in the apartments.
Police from the 115th precinct released a flyer with tips to help renters protect themselves from apartment scammers. They advise renters to avoid making advance payments before seeing the apartment; researching the listing agent and address; and not completing an application before seeing the apartment.
“If offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” the police flyer says.
Police are continuing to investigate the incidents.