Notification of Section 8 Scam Sites
Seattle Housing Authority has been alerted to two websites that are phishing for personal and financial information from people who are interested in signing up for the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery. We wanted to let you know what to look out for and what steps we are taking to stop these sites from targeting low-income individuals in our community.
Two sites — housing-voucher.com and housingvoucher.org — have purchased Google ad keywords in order to display their sites directly above ours in search results. These are the two sites we know of, but there may be others. The sites claim to be a proxy for regional housing authorities and indicate that people can apply for Section 8 housing through their website. They then take financial advantage by convincing households that they need to pay for a credit report through their site in order to apply for housing assistance. They also offer high-interest loans for those in desperate financial situations.
In this screenshot, you can see how easy it would be to believe the first link is a legitimate way to apply for Section 8 vouchers:
How people find the scam websites:
We have already taken action to start getting these sites removed. They have been reported to Google and we are in the process of reporting to the appropriate federal agencies to hopefully get the sites taken down for good.
How you can help:
There are several ways you can help stop scam sites like these:
- The most effective way to help is to report scam sites to the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The more complaints the IC3 receives about fraudulent sites, the more likely action will be taken.
- You can contact us to let us know about scam sites you encounter by contacting our Waitlist Hotline at 206-239-1674. Seattle Housing does not have the authority to have these sites removed, but this does help us gather information so that we can inform the public about fraud attempts related to Section 8 housing assistance.
If you would like to discuss these issues further, please contact Nancie White at NWhite@seattlehousing.org or (206) 239-1523.
To register for Seattle Housing Authority's Section 8 Waitlist Lottery, please visit this page.