Avoid Scammers Offering To Pay Your Rent
If you’re facing eviction for any reason, there are organizations out there who can help you. But there are also fake “organizations” and “charities” who can hurt you.
COVID-19 has created an even greater opportunity for scammers to target people — people who are just trying to get help with paying their rent or taking care of other financial needs. Scammers may call, email, or text, saying you can get money for rent. Or they may say they can get you legal help to avoid eviction. No matter what kind of help they promise, these scammers always tell you to give them money upfront or hand over your personal information first. But those are dead giveaways that it’s a scam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime - is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost..
Whether someone you don’t know contacts you out of the blue or you go looking for rental assistance, here are ways to protect yourself:
- Never give your Social Security, bank account, credit card, or debit card number to anyone who contacts you. And even if you’re the one reaching out, do your research on the organization first, before you share your info.
- If you look online for help with your rent, search for the name of the groups you find, plus the words “scam,” “fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements.
A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.,” or “complaint,” to see what others are saying. Do that before you contact them.
- Find out about local programs that offer rental assistance and other help.
- If you’re facing eviction, you still have rights. The first step in most evictions is a written notice. Check with your local court system for more details about the eviction process and your rights. You also may qualify for free legal services and be able to speak to a lawyer to learn about your rights.
If you spot a rental assistance scam like this, please tell the FTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution.
To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and to your local Police The Local Police is your first responder in most countries. In most English-speaking countries and in Europe report to them first. In other countries look for your national cybercrime police units to report scams to. In the U.S., Canada, & Australia, you must report to the local police first., and your State Attorney General’s Office