June 21, 2023
SCAM ALERT: Fraudulent Text Messages Posing as City of Pensacola Section 8 Program
The City of Pensacola has received reports from the public of fraudulent text messages and websites claiming to represent the City of Pensacola Housing Department Section 8 program. These text messages and websites are not legitimate and are not coming from the City of Pensacola or the Pensacola Housing Department.
The text and internet scam is targeting citizens wanting to apply for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance and promises to expedite application approvals by pushing applicants to a phony website.
The City of Pensacola reminds the public to follow these tips with unfamiliar or suspicious text messages or websites:
- Do not reply or click on links contained in text messages from unknown sources.
- Do not provide your personal or financial information unless you are certain of the identity of the person or business contacting you.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited text messages asking for personal or financial information, even claiming to be from a reputable company you use. Contact your service provider directly to ensure the message is not a scam.
- Be cautious about messages or sites that create a sense of urgency to encourage you to act quickly.
- The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will never charge application fees for its program and will not ask you for your financial information, request you to wire money or pay with a prepaid card.
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waitlist is currently closed and not accepting applications. Waitlist applications are processed in the order received in accordance with the City’s Housing Choice Voucher Administrative plan and HUD guidelines. When the waitlist reopens, the Housing Department will provide the public with information about how to apply.
Information on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is available here and will contain the most current information regarding the status of the Section 8 waitlist.
To learn more about how to recognize text message scams, or "smishing," click here.
To report scams or fraud to the Federal Trade Commission online, visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov