Seattle Housing Authority warns applicants of fraudulent web sites

Feb 6, 2013

The Seattle Housing Authority says some people applying for low-income housing vouchers have fallen victim to fraudulent web sites.

The agency just this week opened its lottery for people trying to get on the waitlist for housing choice vouchers. Those are federally funded subsidies that help low-income people pay rent.

The Seattle Housing Authority registration web site went live on Monday, but spokeswoman Michelle Ackermann says other sites that look official but are fraudulent have popped up in Google searches. She says some of the sites tell people they have to purchase a credit report to apply, but that’s not true.

"Once they get personal and financial information from folks who are trying to register for the housing voucher lottery, they’re then following up on that financial information by attempting to get them to sign up for high-interest loans," Ackermann said.

The Seattle Housing Authority has contacted federal authorities and Google trying to get the sites taken down. The only official web site where people can sign up for the lottery is http://www.seattlehousing.org.

If anyone is worried they've fallen victim to one of the fake sites, they can call the Seattle Housing Authority at 206-239-1674 and check to make sure they've properly registered for the lottery.

So far there’s been a lot of demand – as of Tuesday, more than 9,500 people had registered for the lottery. Only 2,000 names will be drawn. People have until February 22nd to apply.