July 24, 2024

# Beware: Maryland Housing Department alerts on new scam concerning Section 8 properties

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) cautions its residents against a recent online con trick. This ruse alleges that DHCD or an affiliated public housing authority administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

The scam starts with a Facebook post showing a fabricated flyer. The flyer declares the start of a waitlist for specific properties that fall under the Section 8 scheme. The residents are then directed to provide personal details through a deceitful link or by visiting DHCD’s Lanham headquarters. DHCD clarifies that they’re not connected with this bogus advertisement.

This fake information originates from a counterfeit Facebook page that mimics the DHCD. DHCD advises the residents to confirm the page’s authencity through its blue certified checkmark, and the page name, “Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.” Alternatively, residents can verify the page by visiting the DHCD’s official website dhcd.maryland.gov and clicking the Facebook icon at the top right corner.

If you are a victim and have given private information or paid a fee on this fraudulent site, here are some crucial steps to take:

For those considering the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, here is some essential information:

– Authentic housing bodies do not demand a fee to join a waiting list.
– Always check with your local public housing authority at this link to confirm if they are accepting applications for Section 8 housing, or to understand how to apply for a waiting list.
– Engage with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency at this link to learn about local help available to you.

## Frequently Asked Questions
### Question 1: What is the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program?
The Section 8 program is a federal assistance initiative designed to aid financially struggling individuals by subsidising their rent payments. The recipients pay a fraction of the rent, with the program paying the difference directly to the landlord.

### Question 2: How can I verify the authenticity of a housing authority’s website or social media account?
Spotting an authentic website or social media account requires a careful observation. A genuine site will have a secured URL, often starting with “https.” Verified social media accounts generally have a blue checkmark beside the page name. Always be suspicious if the page asks for your personal information immediately.

### Question 3: What should I do if I fall victim to such scams?
If you’ve fallen for this scam, immediately report it to your local law enforcement authorities. If you’ve provided financial information, contact your bank as soon as possible. Monitor your accounts for any unauthorized activity. If you’ve given personal details, consider credit protection services and regularly check your credit reports for suspicious transactions.