As if finding a decent apartment that you can actually afford in New York City isn’t hard enough, there are more than anyone’s fair share of shoddy brokers to contend with — the ones who seem to do little more than open a door for you and give you grief about your expectations, yet require nearly two month’s rent. But even worse, there are actual fake real estate agents, like this guy, who has perhaps the most un-intimidating mugshot of all time. Don’t let the glasses or sleepy countenance or delicate bone structure fool you — he is dangerous.
VIa NY1, our real estate crook allegedly advertises apartments on Craigslist and in the Daily News. He shows his prospective clients the places, has them sign a fake lease, and takes a security deposit in cash. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually represent the apartments, and “in some cases, they’re already occupied.” He’s done this eight times since January in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick.
What’s worse, a deadly cobra on the loose or a New York City real estate scammer? Be on the lookout for either. (Our suspect in this case is in his mid-30s, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 150 pounds, and likes the Yankees.)
In related news, make sure your real estate agent is really a real estate agent (check his license and where he works) before handing over any money. That way at least you’ll get an apartment for all your troubles.
Man Accused Of Stealing From Apartment Seekers [NY1]
Brooklyn con artist poses as real estate agent and scams security deposits from renters: cops [NYDN]