Looking for housing assistance? Beware of scam websites
Rob Crow, Senior Community, Housing & Human Services Manager, No Phone Number Available
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at 12:36 p.m.
Don't fall prey to scams if you're looking for housing assistance. The Federal Trade Commission and HUD are warning people that scammers have made websites to look like registration sites for Section 8 waiting list lotteries.
HUD's Section 8 program helps people find housing in privately-owned rental units through housing choice vouchers. If you are looking for help through this program, here are some tips to avoid a Section 8 Lottery scam:
- Contact your local housing authority to find out how to register for the Section 8 waiting list lottery. You'll find their email and phone number on the HUD site. Follow their instructions to sign up.
- Housing authorities do not charge fees, and they won't reach out to you by phone or email to suggest that you join a waiting list. A housing authority also will never ask you to wire money or pay with a prepaid card. Those are sure signs of a scam.
- Treat your Social Security number and other personal information (say, credit card numbers), like cash. Don't give them out on a website you find through a search.
- Have you seen this kind of scam? File a complaint with the FTC and HUD. Some people have gotten help from the Better Business Bureau, so you also can file a complaint there.
To learn more, visit the FTC's website.