Day by day, scams and frauds become more recurrent in New York while renting an apartment.
How do they work?
They publish apartments for rent in websites like Craigslist (craigslist.com) or Gabinohome (gabinohome.com) they ask $300 per night or any other number.
Then you contact the “owner”. Those can be nice people on the phone, they even offer to pick you up at the airport… Then you think: Wow! I found a nice apartment in NYC!
Usually, the false owner tells you need to pay a rental deposit for $400 and 3 days of rent in advance. You can be easily paying around $1300. They tell you can make the payment with a debit card, and obviously you reject this option because it is not a secure way to pay that amount and of course you don’t want to make this transaction on the phone or by mail…
But of course, he is going to give you any other “secure” option, a bank transfer, what can be wrong?
You accept and ask for a contract before the transaction. You’ll see the name in the contract and the name on the transfer info are not the same… FRAUD!!
There will be nobody waiting for you at the airport, there is no apartment in the address the “owner” gives you, and the phone number doesn’t exist anymore.
You need to find a last minute hotel.
What to do if you are a victim of fraud?
You will have to denounce it in NYC with a copy of the bank transaction, rental contract, and all the mails you had with the “owner” (any mail or email).
IMPORTANT: Denounce at the police station near the address of the fake apartment and not in the office where the bank is.
They will give you a report number and you can give a copy to your bank for a formal complaint.
What else can you do?
If this ever happened to you or you have concerns about renting in New York, I recommend visiting other websites, verifying: No deposits in advance asked.
I made an article about housing options in New York, these are good websites. Also, you can check the apartment approved by the NYCTT community by clicking here.
You will be helping to update the good and bad apartments for rent. Thank you in advance for your help.