Cops: Swindlers Used Craigslist In Yonkers Rental Scam

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Imagine trying to find a place to live, only to be duped into handing over hundreds of dollars.

Police in Yonkers say scammers — posing as realtors — used Craigslist to advertise rental properties to prospective tenants, setting up appointments and meeting their victims at the locations.

They also chose properties that were under renovation, where workers were going in and out so that they were fooled as well, CBS 2’s John Slattery reports.

Yonkers Police Commissioner Edmund Hartnett says the scammers were individuals who were “very good at what they do.”

“We feel that the thieves scam their way into the place by telling the workers that they are bona fide rental agents, Hartnett said, “therefore, they don’t get confronted when they bring the people back to show the property.”

The phony agents also came back with the renters telling them that payments were needed in order for them to hold the apartment or house.

“They are then told to leave a specific sum of money, either cash or cashier’s check for 500 or a thousand dollars,” Hartnett said.

When they go to move in, they find they’ve been cheated. Its happened at least three times in Yonkers, and in surrounding areas as well. To avoid being cheated, authorities advised prospective tenants to check websites, like the Westchester-Putnam Association of Realtors.

“Make some phone calls. Make sure [you are] dealing with legitimate, bona fide real estate people.”

Police say Craigslist is not involved and the website is working with police to try to find out who is behind the fraud.

  • gloriawilson

    Hi, this is the great work in us real estate market here is one more company, There are a lot of people out there that fully understand the benefits of investing in rental property and are prevented from doing so because of a few things, mainly fear. This home was completely renovated top to bottom in 2010 with many amazing features especially considering the price range over again we realized the need for

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  • Tonoplay

    I really believe it happens, it’s internet, how comprove it. I found an wonderfull apartment, very nice price, and suddenly i found the same pictures and same photos, been show at the same way, a bit more expensive, in 2 differents sides, same view from the windows.
    I live on another country and i am going study, internet is my only way to search something without loose my time.
    Craiglist is very good, but i really would like to ask for everyone use pictures from the apartment, it helps you to sell. =)

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  • Bad2Bone

    Please tell my why anyone such as MrkdPhase would say that “I am glad that people are getting scammed”….? Has the internet been hijacked by mindless trolls who find joy in other’s misery? What a sick comment.

  • MrkdPhase

    I’m glad that people keep getting scammed and hurt by going to Craigslist. When will they learn?

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