LOS ANGELES – A new scam has got the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and Filipinos in LA worried.
Apparently, scammers are using the soon-to-open Larry Itliong Village (an affordable housing project for low-income individuals) as bait to take advantage of people, who are hoping to get a chance to rent a unit in the village for as little as $300 per month.
“There is a group of Filipinos distributing the applications for this housing. This is a big scam because the application period has been closed since [the] end of July,” PWC Associate Director Lolit Lledo said in an ABS-CBN News report.
According to the PWC, prospective tenants of the housing project have already been selected.
“The property management already verified the tenants so there’s no point in applying now,” Lledo said.
According to reports, PWC phone lines have been ringing, with people calling to say that they paid something between $34 to $200 to enter into a lottery for a chance to secure a unit in the affordable housing project.
Based on what the victims have told the PWC, the scammers operate near Filipino businesses in the area. Other sources said that the perpetrators also fish for victims near a Filipino supermarket on Vermont Ave.
Apparently, the scammers attach copies of Lledo’s old business cards in order to make their bogus application forms seem credible.
Reports say there have been at least 10 people who called PWC regarding this matter in the past several days alone.
Lledo said that PWC is going to file a police report on this issue and will still push through with the Larry Itliong Village’s grand opening.
Tenants are expected to begin moving in by November. The Larry Itliong Village will also house the PWC headquarters, which will provide services to low-income immigrant families.
(LA Weekend October 26-29, 2013 Sec A pg.1)