Majority Press

Senator Collins Warns of New Section 8 Housing Scam

Scam Targets Those Seeking to be on a Housing Waiting List


            WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Susan Collins, who chairs the Senate Aging Committee as well as the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, is warning of an emerging scam that targets individuals who are seeking housing though the Section 8 housing assistance program.  Through this scam, con artists have made websites that look very similar to registration sites for Section 8 waiting lists. These websites direct victims to pay a fee and provide personal information in order to be added to a Section 8 waiting list. Scammers then steal the money and personal information, and victims are never added to a real Section 8 waiting list.  In fact, there is no fee to register for the Section 8 housing waiting list.

            Senator Collins said, “This is a ruthless scam that preys upon our nation’s low-income individuals, many of whom are seniors.” She was alerted to the scam through the Aging Committee Fraud Hotline:  1-855-303-9470.

           

            Senator Collins explained that in addition to losing money and personal information to criminals, victims of this terrible scam have also lost an opportunity to be on the actual Section 8 waiting list. 

           

            The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued tips to help consumers avoid becoming victim to this scam:

  • Contact your local housing authority to find out how to register for the Section 8 waiting list.  If you do not have this information, it can be found on the HUD website (www.HUD.gov)
  • Know that 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 all sure signs of a scam.
  • Treat your Social Security number and other personal information, such as credit card number, like cash.
  • If you have you seen this type of scam, file a complaint with the FTC and HUD. Or call the Senate Aging Committee’s fraud hotline: 1-855-303-9470.

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