Jan. 23, 2019 By Christian Murray
The police are looking for a bogus real estate broker who has been scamming prospective renters out of their cash deposits after falsely promising them apartments.
The suspect has allegedly ripped off 11 people in Corona since July, according to police. In each case, he convinced the victim to pay a cash deposit on an apartment that he knew was not available–and then would vanish.
The scam began on Monday, July 23, when the suspect duped a man out of a $2,300 cash deposit after promising him a unit at 32-33 105th St.
The suspect met three other prospective tenants at this location – on July 27, July 30 and Aug. 6—and took a $2,300 cash deposit from each of them.
The suspect then arranged a meeting with a prospective tenant on Aug. 17 inside 40-15 97th St. The victim paid a $2,350 cash deposit for a unit and never heard from the suspect again.
The same scenario took place on Sept. 5 and Sept. 17 when the suspect conned two individuals separately –one for $2,300 and the other for $2,400–at 93-20 43rd Ave. Another incident took place in Corona on Sept. 22, when the victim paid $2,300 only to never hear from the suspect again.
On Nov. 8, the suspect tricked two women looking to rent an apartment at 54-33 101 St. out of $1,850 in cash.
Then on Dec. 27 and Dec. 31 the suspect used an apartment at 43-18 104th St. to defraud prospective tenants out of $2,900 and $2,000 respectively.
The man wanted for questioning has gone by multiple names, such as Antonio, Toni, Patricio, Emilio, Tomas, Alfredo, Angel Dejesus and Jesus Parra, according to police.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-8477, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.
How ignorant can someone be to give a cash deposit?
People lets be careful out there dont ever do business with a “real estate agent” or “room finder” without doing extensive research. Find out if they have an office if they do go there unannounced and check it out. If they say they are from a credible real estate office like Century 21 or Remax go online and look up the phone numbers to those offices and call and ask about the so called realtor by name. Don’t call the number on the business card that the real estate guy gave you it may just be a crook answering the phone trying to get your money and personal information. If the real estate guy hops out of a car when he comes to meet you make sure to get the make and model of the vehicle and the license plate number. The more details you know the better you can gauge the situation and if you do get ripped off the better description you can give the police. Also if the apartment being rented has a below market value too good to be true it is probably a scam. If the agent asks you to pay all types of extra fees that make no sense it’s a scam. And here’s a new twist on an old classic if the realtor asks you to pay in bitcoin oh boy look out. It is definitely a scam that one happened to a young lady I know she thought she had found a studio apartment on 35th ave owned by an old couple that moved back to there homeland in South America the guy renting this incredibly cheap studio claimed to be the son of the old couple and wanted payment to be deposited into his untraceabke bitcoin account he said it was so he could easily transfer the money to his parents in another country. It turned out it was all a scam and the guy ended up ripping of multiple people with this con job out of thousands of dollars. Also and this is the biggest red flag of them all… if they cannot physically take you inside the apartment that they are supposed to be renting you it is most certainly a scam. They’ll meet you in front of the building and show you pictures of the place but when you ask to go inside they always have an excuse not to enter like ” the place is being painted or they are installing new floors.” Watch out everyone the scammers are on the prowl.