The Federal Trade Commission reported that Florida has the highest per capita rate of reported benefits fraud in the country. Broward County Housing Authority (BCHA) has committed to preventing and eliminating these problems within its programs by placing increased attention on educating staff, landlords, and families. The BCHA Fraud Alert is one of the mechanisms that BCHA is utilizing to educate our families and the general public on how to avoid becoming victims.
AVOID SCAMS AND FRAUD
- Tenants should always deal locally with landlords and property managers that they can meet in person. Wiring funds to an unknown individual should never be done.
- Be cautious of landlords/agents who communicate primarily by text or email.
- Establish that the person you are dealing with is the landlord or a licensed agent of the landlord.
- Ask the landlord if you can see their ID.
- Verify that the landlord is the owner of the property (www.bcpa.net)
- Only deal with landlords/agents who will allow you access to the property in which you are interested before exchanging money.
- Be cautious of anyone who wants a deposit or application fee before showing you the property.
- Be cautious of anyone requesting a Western Union or MoneyGam to hold a home for you or show it to you.
- Avoid landlords/agents who request a deposit from out of the country.
- Be cautious of landlords/agents who want cash only.
- Be cautious of homes significantly lower priced than other homes in the neighborhood.
- Don't be afraid to ask the landlord if he/she is current on their mortgage.
If a landlord is obtaining money from you illegally by being deceptive, by making false statements, by lying, cheating, etc. you are a victim of landlord fraud. Please contact the BCHA Investigative Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-497-3740) and report the fraud as soon as possible.