The owner of an apartment in Little Havana says there are at least four victims who sent a deposit to a suspected scammer who claimed to be renting a space that didn’t belong to him. And it wasn’t until the victims arrived on the scene that they realized the owner was someone else.

Laura Bustamante, owner of the property, says she “was renting an apartment and I put it on Facebook Marketplace and other websites, but they copied the post.” A scam you never imagined would happen.

“He told me that 1,200 pesos… that he had to make an appointment and to make an appointment he had to deposit 100 dollars,” said Rafael Flores, one of the victims of the rental scam.

At the beginning of April, Bustamante shared a publication for rent in one of the apartments in the building she owns in Little Havana, but denounces that a subject not yet identified by the authorities took the opportunity to copy the information.

“He started by stealing $100 and the last one he stole stole his $600 deposit,” the woman explains.

Rafael Flores was one of four victims who called the current owner of the place to ask him if the rental information was correct. The man says that in total, he sent $580 to whoever cloned the social media post.

“He tells me we’re going to do something… we’re going to move the contract process forward… I’m putting it down for zelle,” recalls Rafael Flores.

According to the United States Federal Trade Commission, this type of fraud is very common today. However, the following keys could help you avoid being harmed by scams:

  • Search online by entering the name of the rental company.
  • Do a search by entering the home’s address to make sure it appears on the rental company’s website. If it doesn’t show up, it may be a scam.
  • Compare the prices. If the rental value is much lower than other similar properties, this could be a red flag.
  • Visit the property.
  • Never pay in cash, or with bank transfers or money orders.

If you have been the victim of this type of scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission or local authorities, via the link

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