The FTC recently fined the owners of a rental search site in California $6 million for defrauding over 500k Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) recipients by asking them to pay for access to supposed exclusive listings that in reality didn’t exist. Inman is reporting that WeTakeSection8.com claimed to have exclusive access to listings that accepts the HCV and then charged $49 for a two-month access or $14.99 for a one-week access for listings that were either outdated, didn’t exists or not even approved for Housing Choice Vouchers. In addition, Inman reports that The Federal Trade Commission says Section 8 scams are more common than consumers realize.
“Today’s housing market is historically tight, and affordable rentals are harder to find than ever,” FTC Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Andrew Smith said in a prepared statement after the Commission filed its case in September. “Section 8 voucher recipients have it even harder: they have fewer rentals from which to choose and their vouchers expire if not used within a specified period of time.”