CHICAGO (CBS) — A professional residence itemizing was copied and pasted on a unique web site – and was apparently utilized in a rip-off to get cash fast.
A Chicago North Facet resident attempting to find an residence says he virtually fell sufferer.
And as CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Thursday night time, there’s a pandemic twist to it.
This seems to be a scammer hiding behind textual content messages and social media accounts, preying on folks in a rush to hire an residence.
For $1,500 a month, Drake Fitzsimmons thought he had discovered his new rental residence. He flagged the unit on Fb market. It was posted by a consumer who goes by “Stevany Ann Massive” and describes herself as “a mom attempting her finest.”
“It seems to be like a extremely massive place, a very nice place, and shut by to the place I stay now,” Fitzsimmons mentioned.
However when Fitzsimmons requested to verify the place out on Burling Avenue close to Diversey Parkway – proper on the cusp of Lincoln Park and Lakeview – he was informed he couldn’t.
“They mentioned that there have been COVID protocols and I couldn’t go go to the residence,” he mentioned.
However there was a manner out of that advised.
“They mentioned, ‘If you happen to’d wire me $60 as an software price, I’ll ship you the applying, you may fill it out, after which we will go in and signal the lease straight away,’” Fitzsimons mentioned.
He mentioned they had been fairly aggressive in attempting to get the cash too.
“That was the largest signal to me that it should have been a rip-off,” Fitzsimmons mentioned.
So Fitzsimmons did some digging. He discovered an equivalent itemizing on Zillow – owned by another person and asking for the next hire of $1,895. He believes the Zillow posting to be professional, and the Fb posting a rip-off.
“It’s an unethical approach to make a fast buck,” he mentioned.
So CBS 2’s De Mar texted the quantity for the so-called bogus Fb itemizing, asking for data. Inside seconds, he was despatched footage of the itemizing on Burling Avenue.
De Mar went on to ask to see the residence – and bought the very same message that Fitzsimmons bought in his texting correspondent. The residence was not out there to have a look at due to COVID protocols, and we must wire cash.
De Mar then knowledgeable the particular person on the quantity that he’s with CBS. We waited, and had been nonetheless ready for a remark late Thursday.
“You used COVID as a motive that we couldn’t meet up. That’s additionally type of an inexpensive manner,” Fitzsimmons mentioned. “It’s a world pandemic. Don’t use that as your rip-off.”
Fitzsimmons reported the Fb put up as a rip-off. He didn’t fall sufferer, however he does need his story to be a warning for others.