By Bill Parry
The NYPD was looking for three men who misrepresented themselves as home owners to rip off unsuspecting apartment hunters in East Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights this spring.
Beginning on April Fools Day at least four victims were scammed after they responded to advertisements that were posted on Facebook in regards to apartments for rent, police said.
The first incident took place April 1 in front of 77-01 31st Ave. in East Elmhurst when a 40-year-old woman met with an unidentified individual and gave him a deposit of $1,400. A second incident occurred April 21, when a 25-year-old woman handed a deposit of $1,800 to a man at 41-62 70th St. in Jackson Heights, police said.
The con men struck again in East Elmhurst April 23 when a victim gave an individual an $1,800 deposit in front of 95-22 Jackson Mill Road, according to authorities. A final incident occurred in front of 137-58 Northern Blvd. in Corona when another victim gave a man a deposit of $1,500, police said.
Each time the victims were given keys with a receipt for the deposit as the individuals fled to parts unknown. Upon arriving at the apartments each victim found they were already occupied and unavailable. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr