(NEW YORK, NY) — A Brooklyn woman was arrested Wednesday for stealing over $1,000 from prospective renters in this year’s latest real-estate scam.
Earlier this year, Makhabbat Abdualiyeva, 24, posed as a real estate agent to collected security deposits on apartments she was not authorized to rent.
Back in April, Abdualiyeva collected a $500 security deposit from a 22-year-old woman for an apartment in Bensonhurs. Later that day, she collected a $200 security deposit from another woman for the same apartment.
Abdualiyeva has been charged two counts of petty larceny and two counts of second-degree criminal impersonation.
Scam artists are constantly on the hunt to steal money from prospective renters, buyers, and even sellers. We’ve listed five warning signs to help prevent you from falling victim to someone like Abualiyeva.
How to protect yourself from a real estate scam
- The listing photos have an MLS watermark
If the photos of a listing have watermarks, it means the “agent” does not have original photos of the property.
- The listing details are vague
If you read a listing and realize you haven’t learned much about the actual property, it probably means the “agent” has never been there.
- The agent is willing to make a deal without obtaining your background information
Real agents are going to want to know a lot about you. If an “agent” doesn’t ask for your financial history and other necessary documents, something is up.
- The asking rent is too good to be true
If you happen to come across a listing that matches your price range but it doesn’t match up with the area it is in, make sure you research the agent representing it. Often times, a scam artist will draw victims in by offering a low price in a high-priced neighborhood.