Friday, January 11, 2013

NY AG: Watch Out For Scammers Targeting NYC Tenant-Beneficiaries Of Recent $69M Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Rent Rebate Settlement

From the Office of the New York Attorney General:

  • Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman [] issued an open letter to tenants of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan warning them of a possible scam related to a recently announced multi-million rent-rebate settlement. Last week, several tenants reported receiving what appear to be scam calls about the settlement, and in which they were asked to provide personal information.  The Attorney General warned residents about providing information to unknown callers and encouraged tenants to contact his office with information that may assist the investigation.
  • On December 11, New York City Councilmember Daniel Garodnick reached out to the Attorney General’s office to report that several tenants of the complexes had received telephone calls from individuals claiming to be the claims administrator of the Settlement. The callers attempted to solicit personal information from the tenants on the pretext that this information is required for the tenants to recover on the Settlement. The Attorney General’s office determined that these calls were not from the Settlement claims administrator or anybody else legitimately affiliated with the Settlement. Instead, the calls were a scam apparently designed to deceive tenants of the complexes into disclosing highly personal information to fraudsters who will use this information for their own personal gain.

    The Roberts v. Tishman Speyer case was settled on November 30th and will result in nearly $69 million being returned to tenants overcharged for rent between 2003 and 2011. The case was initially filed in 2007 by Stuyvesant Town residents against Tishman Speyer and Met Life, the former owner of the East Village building complex, claiming that units had been illegally deregulated while the development was receiving a J-51 tax abatement. The state’s top court, ruled in favor of the tenants in October 2009 and a settlement was reached this fall. The case involved the status of 4,311 apartments and will impact approximately 22,000 current and former residents.
For the New York AG press release, see A.G. Schneiderman Warns Against Stuyvesant Town Settlement Scam (Tenants Should Beware of Scam Calls Asking For Private Information; A.G. Schneiderman: Be Careful of Scammers Preying On Tenants).

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