Bronx woman who lost home in fire scammed out of $2,000

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

A Bronx woman who lost her home in a fire is facing another setback after she says she was scammed out of nearly $2,000.

Jessica Mercedes met News 12 at her mother's house to discuss how she was scammed out of money that she was hoping to use to get out of a shelter. She's been displaced following a September fire on Walton Avenue.

After the fire, Mercedes says she used the real estate app and website Trulia and thought she found the perfect apartment at 1515 Grand Concourse. She contacted the listed realtor only to get duped.

The supposed broker was Anays Cacillo, of A.Mer.C Limited Inc. The broker showed Mercedes the apartment and said she had to cough up nearly $2,000 to secure the unit. Mercedes says she knows there were red flags, but she was desperate.

Two weeks later, Mercedes contacted the broker, frustrated and confused.

"She wouldn't answer my calls, she would not text me back," she says. "In the third week I said to her this doesn't look right, did you steal my money?"

Mercedes also contacted the building's management office to find out if it ever received an application. It didn't.

After News 12 got involved, a police report was filed and Cacillo was arrested and charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny. One of her associates was also arrested. A court date has not yet been set.

Google reviews for A.Mer.C Limited Inc. apparently show that Mercedes was not the only person scammed. "They'll steal your money and make all kinds of excuses," one reviewer said.

According to the Better Business Bureau, seven complaints have been filed against the company, six of them unanswered. The BBB gave A.Mer.C Limited Inc. an "F" rating.

Until she can afford to move out, Mercedes says she'll remain in the shelter with her children, while continuing frequent visits to her mother's home.

  • Brooklyn SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Historical photos of the Coney Island Boardwalk

    Historical photos of the Coney Island Boardwalk

    Thursday, May 24 2018 10:57 AM EDT2018-05-24 14:57:42 GMT
    The Coney Island Boardwalk has officially been declared a historical landmark. Here are some photos of the boardwalk taken nearly 120 years ago.
    The Coney Island Boardwalk has officially been declared a historical landmark. Here are some photos of the boardwalk taken nearly 120 years ago.
  • PHOTOS: Fleet Week 2018

    PHOTOS: Fleet Week 2018

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:53 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:53:14 GMT
    Fleet Week 2018Fleet Week 2018
    Fleet Week 2018Fleet Week 2018

    Photos of the 2018 Fleet Week ships coming up the Hudson River to Manhattan. There are 14 ships for the public to visit and tour. The celebration lasts a week. It has been held nearly every year since 1984.

    Photos of the 2018 Fleet Week ships coming up the Hudson River to Manhattan. There are 14 ships for the public to visit and tour. The celebration lasts a week. It has been held nearly every year since 1984.

  • Memorial Day 2018 Photos

    Memorial Day 2018 Photos

    Whether you are honoring loved ones, attending a parade or spending time with family, News 12 wants to see your Memorial Day photos. Post them on Instagram or Twitter with #N12MemorialDay.

    Whether you are honoring loved ones, attending a parade or spending time with family, News 12 wants to see your Memorial Day photos. Post them on Instagram or Twitter with #N12MemorialDay.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."