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Police search for men in Queens apartment deposit scam

Posted at 8:27 PM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 20:28:25-04

QUEENS —Several New Yorkers hoping to move into new apartments were the victims of a scam, police said Monday.

The culprits met with the victims over the last few months and identified themselves as apartment owners, police said. They took deposits from victims and gave them keys for already-occupied apartments.

The scam started on April 1 when a man took a $1,400 deposit from a 40-year-old woman  in Jackson Heights. Subsequent ‘deposits’ by other victims were for even more money.  A 25-year-old woman gave a man $1,800 for an already-occupied apartment on April 21.

The scammers made at least $6,500 from the deposits they got from people looking for homes.

Police have asked for help identifying the men involved.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).