The number of scammers posing as real estate agents is on the rise, prompting the New York State Division of Consumer Protection to issue a warning to apartment hunters.

Since January, the state agency has received 211 complaints from people, mostly immigrants or young people new to the state, conned out of cash by a fake rental agent, 121 of them in New York City, Real Estate Weekly reported.

And consumers are not the only ones getting duped. Clients with fake identities are not unheard of either, the news outlet said.

New York City-based independent broker Kathy Matson advised that the best way to do business, no matter which side of the deal you’re on, is through referrals.

Source: Real Estate Weekly

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