The Coronavirus pandemic has brought financial strain to many people and difficulty paying monthly rent is high on the list of problems for a lot of people. Initially Congress enacted an eviction moratorium that was to end in January of 2021, but fortunately, President Biden issued an executive order extending the moratorium until March 31st with the intention of giving Congress extra time to come up with some solutions for renters experiencing difficulties paying their rent. Now the moratorium has been extended until June 30, 2021. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, scammers are taking advantage of the concern many renters have about paying their rent and are contacting them by phone, email or text message offering help to avoid eviction or offering to provide money for rent. The scammers, however, are not interested in providing rental assistance, but are interested in stealing their victims’ money or getting information they can use to make the concerned renters victims of identity theft.
As always, never provide your personal information such as your Social Security number, credit card information, debit card information or bank account number to anyone who contacts you unless you have absolutely confirmed that the communication is legitimate and that there is a legitimate need to provide that information. Whenever you are contacted by phone, text message or email, you cannot be sure that the person contacting you actually is who they say they are. Even if your Caller ID indicates the call is from a legitimate source, your Caller ID can be manipulated by “spoofing” to appear to be a legitimate phone number when it is actually coming from a scammer.
If you are having difficulty paying your rent, there are a number of local programs that provide rental assistance and other services. Here is a link to find the ones that may apply to you.https://www.hud.gov/states
Here is another link to HUD with helpful information for renters. https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus/renters
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/