Monica Brown, Alleged Craigslist Scammer, Taunted Victim Via Text Message

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Rich Urban was looking for a place on South Beach in February when he responded to a Craigslist ad -- "Wanted: Cool roommate to share awesome apartment!" -- and met Monica Brown, a small woman with a heavy accent who showed him a room at 713 Collins Ave. Urban gave her one month's deposit and expected to move in March 1.

You know where this is going: Brown called with a last-minute stalling story and then disappeared, and Urban, who never received a key, found the apartment locked. But apparently Brown just couldn't resist returning Urban's text messages.

She told him she'd return the money but she was "at the spa right now," according to a transcript posted online. Several times she wrote he had "little man's syndrome." And she lamented haughtily, "You have to be supa flexible bc I actually hve a life."

She never agreed to a meeting time and place. Urban filed a police report but told Riptide soon after: "The Miami Beach Police are doing nothing about it. After repeated attempts to have a detective assigned to the case, I'm getting nowhere."

But after Urban's friend -- a Miami Beach 411 message board poster with the handle FL_Style -- posted the tale online, fellow commenters began sleuthing. They found that Monica Brown had been arrested just days after meeting Urban for pulling an identical scheme, posing as a landlord for an apartment at 2301 Collins and disappearing with a first and last months' deposit totaling $1,500. Urban's friend posted warnings on Craigslist, he says, and was contacted by several prospective renters who claimed to have been scammed by Brown.

Meanwhile, she continued to taunt via text: "You're so stupid and ugly if you think that the police will do anything for this. It's not like you know where I live... :)."

When Urban went to the police with the information that his alleged scam artist had recently been arrested, the message board had done the cops' work for them. On March 11, she was arrested and charged, for the second time, with grand theft. The detective hadn't connected the two identical cases.

Brown, an Israeli native who says she is 24 but appears much older in her mug shot, should expect a full house for her trial. As one message board user commented: "Who's bringing the popcorn to court?"

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25 comments
iVofka
iVofka

Miami Police did not want to finance Monica Brown's extradition. She has been released and started to harass us again. 

When she was arrested--police suggested to confirm with my building manager and to change the locks. I even packed all her trash (a lot of it) for her to have it, so she would not say that we have something, don't even want to keep a single toothpick with her energy attached to it.  Still, she claims that we stole her property and documents.  Part of her plan.

We are contacting FBI and Immigration today to bring this case to their attention, because this case is already got federal scale, since multiple states are involved now.  Also, we are meeting with LA Times correspondents to request media investigation and give the proper warning about Monica's scams.  More and more people call, who either witnessed or became a victims of Monica's "business operations."

brownkb
brownkb

  • www.linkedin.com/pub/victoria-bakken/52/804/b9

iVofka
iVofka

Monica Brown (a.k.a Victoria Balkene) was identified thanks to this site and that led to her arrest in Los Angeles, CA on April 28, 2013 around 4:45 am, in the middle of the next scam she was doing.  She moved in the room in the apartment as a roommate, waited 30 days to bypass the California law, and after that told that she's refusing to pay and the only way to make her move out -- eviction through the court (that might take up to 3 months--she is very knowledgeable about the law--evidently did it many times already.)  We were able to find people, who became her victims here in California, but unfortunately they did not file the reports.  While fighting the battle over eviction with us--we were able to identify her real identity (name and dob) and found this site.  When we showed up at the police - all the info that was presented here and on other Google search results were more than convincing to the police. They came and arrested her. BUT: Florida shows that it has the warrant for her arrest, but not agreeing for extraditing of her from California. 

EVERYONE WHO WAS A VICTIM OF MONICA BROWN IN FLORIDA - CONTACT YOUR LOCAL POLICE IN FLORIDA AND CLAIM HER PROSECUTION. Otherwise, if Florida won't claim her--she will be released free and on the run again.  She is very unbalanced mentally to a very high degree and her harassing behavior is very tough to endure to a normal person.  She was already planning the scam to invite the lady to help her pack her staff (as she said) -- but main reason for that was  - to show her apartment, take first and last month rent and RUN!!! We knew about this scam thanks to this site and were able to prevent it in time. Please don't let her get away. She's a little nightmare. Also, she is holding Israel passport - the complaints should be filed to Immigration Services as well.

Rich
Rich

Be careful New York -- She is running scams in NYC now!!

Good Samaritan
Good Samaritan

Just a quick warning -- Moniica was released on Probation & Didn't show up for her first meeting with the probation officer. She is now a fugitive & it is assumed that she has started up her scam again. Constant updates on her facebook page -- http://www.facebook.com/monica...

Ebaytycoon_2006
Ebaytycoon_2006

There are so many rental scams out there. Renters should do a background check on the landlord. Another big scammer whose name is in the news is Yue Yan who calls herself Denise. She posts ads on Craiglist to rent her properties in Lauderdale. She has them do work to her houses but never bothers to get her CO. After a couple of months, she has her friend Ralph Gonalez throw them out illegally and she keeps all of their possessions and sells them! Google that name. You won't believe what this person is doing

Ftmjr1000
Ftmjr1000

Look at her pic. All she needs is Oprah or Tyra to give her a make-over and turn that scowl into a smile and she would be quite the charmer. She would not have to steal men's money then, she could steal their hearts instead.

Take whatever she's got for restitution then deport her. Bye Bye baby.

zqxz
zqxz

Finally (48 hours) time limit to buy.

LV Muffler $ 5.99LV Bags $ 19.9 LV Wallet $ 6.55Armani Glasses $ 5.99LV Belt $ 6.9

Buy addresses---- tntn.usTips (48 hours after the special product is invalid)

Jaelanne
Jaelanne

MBPD does nothing about it? No surprise. In a friend's hit and run case, the detective did utterly nothing, but managed remember him and find his business card six months later when she needed his professional services. She reportedly opened the convo with "Did you find the Mini Cooper that hit you?" before asking for his help with her computer.

fredgarvin
fredgarvin

MB411 super sleuth vicequenmaria aka SMG (social medial gumshoe) provided the first crack to open the case!

Pearlachaise
Pearlachaise

She might be the ugliest person in Florida

rk
rk

Only in Miami do scammers use their real name and photo ID while going about their scams (life of crime, LOL).

Mmm
Mmm

That's why when people see scam posts on Craigslist, they should click on the scam button. The more people who click on it, the faster they will remove the ad.

Sonny68
Sonny68

"You have to be supa flexible bc I actually hve a life."-LMAO..A life of crime.:)

Jenny
Jenny

She tried to rent us a room in South Beach but I saw the warning on Craigslist before it was too late!.

Petey_P
Petey_P

What an ugly bitch!!!

brownkb
brownkb

@iVofka  I knew her as Victoria Bakken at 323-270-6295 and she has stalked and harassed me for the last year! We used to work out at Equinox in Westwood and she lived in Westwood! She is on Linkedin as Victoria Bakken and Facebook

iVofka
iVofka

@Good Samaritan Thank you for this very helpful info. It helped to identify her and to get her arrested.

Vita
Vita

You haven't seen Yue Denise Yan then, have you?

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