Sunday, July 12, 2015

Low-Income Tenants: Ripe Targets For Scammers Running Fake Websites Offering Assistance In Scoring Section 8 Rent Subsidies

In Colorado Springs, Colorado, KXRM-TV Channel 21 reports:
  • Scammers are targeting low-income families who are seeking affordable housing.

    The scammers are targeting some people who are using Section 8 housing, and they are using fake websites to do it.

    Officials said at first the website looks like a normal way to sign up for a voucher and wait list, but it will eventually ask for more information, leading you down a road that could cost you a lot of money.

    “The way it works, is if somebody is interested in low income housing, they can go online or talk to the local housing authority(1) and they request a voucher to be put on a waiting list,” Jeff Markle, Director of Marketing and Events for the Better Business Bureau, said.

    But that’s where the scammers can take advantage of people. “They’ve gone and created certain websites to make it look like a specific housing authority,“ Markle said.

    Some websites are asking for personal information, including your social security number.

    “And also requesting payment for an application fee or a payment for their first month’s rent, saying low income housing is available if they wire them the money for the first month,” Markle said.

    And Markle said those are all major red flags for a scam. “So the legitimate website won’t ask for payment, won’t ask for social security, and information like that, so that’s how you spot it,” he said.
Source: New scam targeting people looking for affordable housing.

(1) Go here to find the various local housing authorities that administer HUD low income housing programs throughout the country.

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