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State housing development authority and attorney general warn of housing voucher scam

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel are warning of a scam targeting people seeking Housing Choice Vouchers. The program provides federal housing assitance to people who qualify based on income, age, or disability.

In a statement, officials described a “non-government entity” using the authority’s logo to promote open voucher programs on Facebook. But Lisa Kemmis, the authority's director of rental assistance and homeless solutions, said it has no open wait lists for vouchers.

“We actually became aware of a Facebook post and a flyer that had been distributed, where folks were being encouraged or being notified that MSDHA’s waiting list is being opened for a period of time,” she said.

Kemmis said the agency notified its partners of the scam in May, and the agency was then notified of more fraudulent listings in June. Kemmis said that the scam is trying to get sensitive private information out of victims. “It’s certainly requesting folks to access the web page and provide their information, (and) put their personal information at risk.”

“It's unfortunate, certainly some bad actors out there that are preying on some very vulnerable people that are in need of housing and, and giving them false hope,” she said.

Kemmis said the housing authority is working on reporting the offending page to Facebook. Authorities are advising anyone who believes they were scammed to contact the state consumer protection team.

A.J. Jones is a newsroom intern and graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sources say he owns a dog named Taffy.
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