"Homeboy Hookup" Scammer Rips Off Renters

Apartment scams are the new hotness. Can’t do housing scams anymore because no one can afford a house, so it’s on to rentals. Insert “Merce,” a guy is ripping off renters saying he’s got the “homeboy hookup” and can get them into a rental cheap and with free gas an electricity, but he doesn’t actually own the properties. Fox NY investigates in this video.

In one case he’s broken into a foreclosed house, in another it seems former property managers have access to an apartment building. He demands rent and security up-front, in cash, and then disappears. Renters don’t find out the ruse until ConEd comes by and shuts off the electricity, or another victim shows up trying to move into the same apartment they’re already in.

One victim tried to file a police report and was told to go to landlord-tenant court, which won’t really work, since the guy isn’t a real landlord.

My sympathy is mitigated by the fact that he’s going around saying that they’re able to steal gas and electricity from the city. Sometimes, fraudsters prey on people’s greed and need, acting like they’re going to help you perpetuate the scam you wish you knew how to pull off, making some victims complicit in their own deception.

Fake Landlord Scam [Fox NY]
Video: Homeboy Hookup Rips Off Craigslist Renters [Gothamist]