HUD’s Fair Housing Discrimination Hotline has been getting calls about a group of scammers that appear to be calling from 1-800-669-9777 (the Discrimination Hotline). HUD has received over 30 calls from the public. One scam tells the person to send $300 to them and that HUD will send them back $9,000.
If you receive a phone call related to this from the public, or if you receive such a message in your voice mail, you have been contacted fraudulently. Please report it to the FCC.
Thieves Impersonate Real Agent on Craigslist
“They’re using images and logos of well-known [real estate agents], or realty companies in order to get you to click on the link and call their number,” said Jason Kama, with the Hawaii Better Business Bureau. “Of course the prices are very different… You think… ‘I have to act fast, I have to get in on this price. And that’s what the scammers on banking on. You acting fast and not thinking it through.”
Hawaii-based Realtor Christine Muth has been battling Craigslist scammers who have used her name and likeness to steal thousands of dollars from unsuspecting renters. The crooks combine a too-good-to-be-true deal with well-known Realtor headshots and logos to deceive hopeful online browsers.
In an interview with KHON2, Muth says she realized what was happening after a man called her to say that the home he just bought from her was, in fact, a hotel. Needless to say, it was not the real Muth behind the “listing.” She told station KHON2 that the emails to victims were “super legitimate looking.”
Muth reached out to KHON2 to help her warn residents of the false listings since the Honolulu Police Department has been unable to track down the scammers.
In the meantime, she’s been scouring Craigslist for scams and reporting any fake listings that use her name, and created a Craiglist listing of her own to warn unwary renters of any ads coming from christinemrentals.com.