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    AN apartment hunter has warned of the dangers of using Craigslist after he was scammed out of hundreds of dollars by a fake landlord who also took his Social Security Number. Christopher Wheelock, a reporter at the Sun Journal newspaper in Lewiston, Maine, told how he responded to an ad looking for a roommate. 2A "for rent" sign stands in front of a houseCredit: Getty Wheelock reported the apartment was advertised for $800 per month, pets were allowed, and a $500 deposit was required. He was required to fill out a rental application that asked for a Social Security Number, which he said should have been a red flag. “I was less than 10 days out from starting my new job in Lewiston, and finding a short-term rental was proving to be more difficult and more expensive than I have ever experienced in more than a dozen moves in my adult life,” Wheelock said in his report. After submitting his application, he received an email asking him to wire a $200 application fee that would go toward the deposit. Read...
    A Canadian landlord has sparked outrage after attempting to rent three individual beds in the same room for $420 each amid rising rents in Toronto.  Zahir Chowdhury posted the ad last weekend on a Facebook page featuring apartments, rooms, and houses that are for rent or sale in Toronto, according to BlogTO, a local news site.  Maggie Mae Taylor captured a screenshot of the listing, which offered a '1 large fully furnished bedroom with 3 beds' — $420 per bed — that was 'available immediately.' Zahir Chowdhury attempted to rent three individual beds in the same room for $420 each in a Facebook listing over the weekend   Maggie Mae Taylor captured a screenshot of the listing before it was taken down and shared it with BlogTO, a local news site According to the pictures, the room was in a house, the beds were actually cots, and the furniture was nothing more than a desk and two metal chairs.  The rental price included utilities, WiFi, in-unit laundry, and a separate entrance. The listing also stated there were three bus stops, a convenience...
    DENVER (CBS4) – The number of Coloradans who need help making rent or finding an affordable place to live is going up. According to Colorado Housing Connects, an organization helping those in need financial assistance, they are seeing a steady increase in the number of calls they receive. “We are concerned because we are seeing an influx of people,” Director Patrick Noonan said. (credit: CBS) CBS4 spoke with a woman who asked not to be identified, but says she and her husband have been unable to find an affordable rental and are forced to live out of a hotel. “This place is $2,350 a month, and it’s this room,” the woman said. Her husband is fighting cancer, and she works full time. She says while she doesn’t make enough to afford the three months rent most places require up front, she makes too much to qualify for low-income housing. While they are getting help from different organizations, she says part of the frustration is navigating who to go to. The other is not being able to put their money toward a more...
    AN IT whizz who created a spoof assassin-hiring website as part of a school project has helped to thwart dozens of would-be murder-for-hire plots, potentially saving the lives of more than 150 people. Bob Innes, 54, set up RentAHitman.com in February 2005 while studying information technology at a local business school in his native of Northern California. 10Bob Innes, 54, set up RentAHitman.com in February 2005Credit: Bob Innes 10While to a discerning eye the website is clearly fake, over the years Bob has helped to thwart dozens of real murder-for-hire plots He bought the domain for $9.20 and had originally intended to use the website to start up a cybersecurity business with a few of his classmates. The name of the website was a play on words, with "Rent" implying to hire, "Hit" referring to website clicks and analytics, and "man" referring to the team of professionals on hand to offer their computing expertise. Bob also gave the site a catchy tagline, insisting that Rent-A-Hitman.com was "Your point and click solution" for all IT-related needs. "By point...
    Shortly after she made the payment, officers arrested Wein.What else?In conversation with the Washington Post, Innes noted that Wein is not the first person to have her nefarious intentions thwarted by his fake website. According to the Post, "about 650 to 700 people have contacted him since he first registered the website in 2005, including about 400 who, like Wein, filled out his 'service request form.'" Innes reportedly continues to vet every entry that comes through the site, which he said usually totals about eight to ten a month nowadays. Many are crank entries. But some, he said, are legitimate. The Post reported, "If he can verify the existence of the person requesting a hitman and the target they want killed, he forwards the information to one of RentAHitman's 17,985 'field operatives,' which just so happens to be the approximate number of law enforcement agencies in the country." More than a dozen years later, Innes said he is still shocked that people become ensnared by the trap. "I don't get it," he told the paper. "People are just stupid."...
    A Michigan woman pleaded guilty after trying to hire someone to kill her ex-husband through a fake murder-for-hire website called 'Rent-A-Hitman,' according to authorities.  Wendy Lynn Wein, 52, of South Rockford, entered in a guilty plea Friday after using the phony website last year in an effort to have her former husband murdered, according to Fox 2 Detroit and Rolling Stone magazine. 'Got A Problem That Needs Resolving? With Over 17,985 US Based Field Operatives, We Can Find A Solution That's Right For You!' the website reads, alongside a badge showing that the website is the only organization in the world that is '100 percent compliant with the Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964.' 'All of our competitors websites cannot say that and shouldn't be trusted — Capisce!' Wein completed a service request on the site in July of 2020, writing to a made-up contracted killer by the name of Guido Fanelli that she wanted to have her ex-husband killed because he stole $20,000 from her.   Pictured: Wendy Lynn Wein, 52, of South Rockford, entered in a guilty plea Friday after...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A chocolate shop that has been making customers in Midtown happy for decades is facing a situation that is far from sweet. The building’s landlord is raising the rent and suing the store’s owner, but local officials are trying to step in and help, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported Wednesday. More than 150 types of licorice, handmade chocolate and festive candies are what have drawn people into Myzel’s Chocolate on 55th Street near Sixth Avenue for more than 30 years. “I bought some truffles and some chocolate-covered grams,” patron Karen Fisher said. “I can get sugar-free licorice for my stepson,” another patron said. “I made a special trip to come see her,” Harlem resident Bill Penn added. (Photo: CBS2) The owner, Kamila Myzel, took over the shop with her mother in 1990. They emigrated to the U.S. from Poland after receiving political asylum. READ MORE: ‘Chocolate Is Love’: At North Fork Chocolate Company, The Focus Is Local The shop is located across from the New York City Center theater, which has been dark since last year, and nearby hotels,...
    A LANDLORD has come under fire after trying to rent out their bathroom as a bizarre OFFICE - for £50 a week.  The eccentric listing boasts of having two desks, a toilet and fiber broadband connection in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland.  5The bizarre listing was posted 42 days agoCredit: GUMTREE 5A kettle has been placed just above the toilet in the makeshift officeCredit: GUMTREE It also has two lamps, an unfrosted window above the loo and a kettle with tea and coffee on a shelf next to the toilet.  A variety of books are also on offer, and a mini fridge has been placed in the former bathroom - despite obvious hygiene issues.  The strange converted bathroom has been mocked online, with people joking that health and safety rules seem to have been breached to create the room.  One person posted on Twitter: “Someone in Partick is renting their s***er out as an office.” Another added: “Report to Elf and Dafty for inability to leave a desk space rapidly in case of emergencies!” A third said: Okay where is...
    By ADAM BEAM | The Associated Press SACRAMENTO — A federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year is scheduled to expire July 31, after the Biden administration extended the date by a month. The moratorium, put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes. Many of them lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and had fallen months behind on their rent. Landlords successfully challenged the order in court, arguing they also had bills to pay. They pointed out that tenants could access more than $45 billion in federal money set aside to help pay rents and related expenses. Advocates for tenants say the distribution of the money has been slow and that more time is needed to distribute it and repay landlords. Without an extension, they feared a spike in evictions and lawsuits seeking to boot out tenants who are behind on their rents. As of June 7, roughly 3.2 million people in the U.S. said they face eviction in the next two months,...
    OAKLAND (KPIX) – Two million Californians are behind on their rent as a result of the pandemic and the state’s moratorium on evictions is scheduled to end at the end of January. Now, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would extend it for another year. Most agree the ultimate solution will have plenty of pain to go around. Almost two-thirds of people living in Oakland are renters and some are predicting a “tsunami of evictions” when the moratoriums finally end and people who owe money are told to pay up. James Vann founded the Oakland Tenants Union to try to keep people in their homes. But even he can’t imagine what will happen when the government stops protecting the millions of people who owe money to landlords. “If everybody had to move, where would they go? What would happen?” he said, pointing to the apartment houses on his block. “Nobody can fill up all these vacancies if everybody got evicted.” California Assemblyman David Chiu isn’t in a rush to find out. He has introduced a bill that would extend...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County restaurants are back to the bottom line — no bars and no indoor dining — as coronavirus cases surge. A sink or swim moment has arrived for the second time. The decision to ban indoor dining comes ahead of a holiday weekend doctors said is critical. COVID-19 cases are spiking in Sacramento and ignoring social distancing could make it worse. El Santo on K Street opened for dine-in for the first time just last week. They didn’t even have the chance to get out the gate before Wednesday’s mandate. Manager Aydalys Ortiz says it bluntly: “We’re going broke. That’s it, we’re going broke to try and stay open.” She said thousands of dollars worth of Mexican food and Brazilian meats that were just ordered might never get sold. “Every day we’re trying to do specials just to get the food out because last time when we closed down we had to throw everything away,” Ortiz said. READ: California Creates ‘Strike Teams’ To Enforce Virus Limits The $26,000 monthly rent check has been impossible to cover. “We’re...
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