Like any good con, the infamous advance-fee fraud known as the Nigerian Scam continues to evolve as scammers look for new suckers to skewer. Unfortunately, the latest arena appears to be the rental market, where con artists are lifting apartment listings from legitimate Internet Listing Services (ILSs) and reposting them on Craigslist with phony contact info. In Hawaii, unsuspecting victims wired $2,500 to their Nigerian "landlords" and even attempted to have a locksmith gain entry to a unit, according to a report by Honolulu CBS affiliate KGBM 9. Honolulu police said there is little they can do to prevent Internet scams that are based overseas, but lieutenant Eric Brown told KGBM that rental owners and residents alike should be wary and aware. "By now, the word Nigeria should be a red flag," Brown said.
If anyone could find humor in the event of a multifamily unit fire, it would be 30 Rock star and Saturday Night Live alum Tracy Morgan. New York Firefighters put out a fire at the comedian's 16th floor apartment at Trump Place in Manhattan last Wednesday before the blaze caused injury or serious damage. Lighting in a large saltwater fish tank reportedly started the fire, which was contained by the building's automated sprinkler system. "Fortunately, the fire did not spread, and no one in the building was hurt. Even the fish are okay," Morgan said in a press statement. "My thanks go to the New York Fire Department for their quick action."
Protecting the Nest Egg
Forget champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Robin Leach is just hoping to get back his deposit on a condo at the $3.5 billion Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous icon and other buyers allege in Nevada State Court filings that developer 3700 Associates is now two years behind schedule. In a 2008 third quarter report, Deutsche Bank-which leant more than $1 billion to the project-indicated that it had foreclosed on the property last September. Leach and other unit buyers are seeking class action status and the return of their deposits, along with interest, costs, and attorney fees.
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