Photo: Fuzzy Images/Flickr
Apartment seekers who have explored listings on popular listing services like Craigslist.com might be familiar with a common scam: listing agents post photos of apartments they know to already be occupied — or that never existed in the first place. When potential clients contact the brokers, the agents explain that the apartments just left the market and offer to begin searching for similar listings.
According to The New York Post, a broker who said he was from St. Marks Place Realty allegedly placed ads on StreetEasy.com and Trulia.com using celebrity addresses, pulling a bait and switch when potential renters contacted him to find out more about one of the listings.
St. Mark’s Place operates under a license issued to Marshall C. Jordan, but the broker who placed the ads said his name was Jordan Marshall. The ads he allegedly placed listed homes such as Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour’s Greenwich Village pad and director/producer Darren Aronofsky’s townhouse in the East Village.
To investigate the issue, reporters from The New York Post answered the ads and received responses from anonymous sales reps claiming that the homes in the ads had suddenly become unavailable. The New York Post writes that the reporters were instead shown less desirable listings and pressured into paying a $100 application fee and filling out a form.
When The New York Post contacted Marshall about the issue, he dismissed their question.
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’ve got to go to work,” Marshall told the New York Post reporter.