CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Chicopee woman is being held without bail, accused of running an online apartment rental scheme. 22News is working for you to make sure you don’t lose money responding to an online listing.
Chicopee police arrested Alla Bryukhovych Monday, accusing her of taking money from 14 families, who all paid rent for the same apartment.
In June, Chicopee police were alerted to a Craigslist/Facebook scheme, in which families paid Bryukhovych between $1,400 and $15,000 in rent and deposits for an apartment she had no right to rent out.
Finding an apartment to rent online may seem like the easiest and most convenient option, but it’s not always the safest.
“You get a little nervous about it because I’ve dealt with Craigslist and sometimes they don’t show up or sometimes it’s just not there,” Kevin Montemagni of Chicopee told 22News.
Westfield Realtor Barry Boccasile said never pay a deposit without first going to the property, meeting the true owner, and filling out a rental application.
One Chicopee resident who buys and sells items through Craigslist, said she always does her research first.
“I would always look into it though, make sure the source is reputable, I wouldn’t jump in to any type of renting without knowing a little history about it,” Keanna Lumpkin of Springfield said.
Chicopee police suggest you verify a building’s owner before any money changes hands. That information’s available at the city or town hall, or the county registry of deeds.