AG Nessel warns of rental assistance phone scam

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan’s attorney general is warning people to watch out for a new scam targeting people who are struggling to pay their rent.

The scammers apparently call their targets and offer to help them with rent, utility bills, or legal assistance to avoid eviction. However, it’s all a ploy to get the target’s personal and financial information.

The scam was described in a notice from the Federal Trade Commission.

Someone who is targeted by these scammers are told they must provide their personal information or even up-front payments to take advantage of them.

Nessel’s office says people should take precautions to avoid falling victim to one of these scams:

  • Don’t give out your information, including your financial details or Social Security number, to anyone who contacts you without first verifying their identity.
  • Research anyone that requests that information. Do an internet search of the organization with the words “scam,” “fraud,” or “complaint.”
  • Avoid companies that tell you to stop paying rent or require an up-front fee for rental assistance.

Click here for a list of legitimate rental assistance programs, compiled by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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