Police Warn of Apartment Scam in West Lawn Neighborhood

People searching for apartments in Chicago’s West Lawn neighborhood are being warned about a scam artist that has already taken money from at least four different people.

In a community alert issued this week, Chicago Police say that a man has posted an ad for an apartment in the 6000 block of South Pulaski, and when victims give him their first month’s rent and a security deposit, he pockets the money and vanishes, as the property is not for rent.

Four different people have been victimized by the scam, with two separate victims losing money on July 11 and two more losing money on July 13 and 18 as part of the scam.

The alleged perpetrator of the crime has used several aliases, including Byron Dean and Joseph Grant, as part of the hoax.

Police recommend that anyone trying to obtain an apartment should be careful not to give cash without getting a receipt, and if surveillance footage exists of any such meeting, it should be saved and turned over to police.

People with information on the scam are encouraged to contact Area Central detectives at 312-747-8382, or the Division of Financial Crimes at 312-746-9661. 

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