Housing Authority Puts 2 and 2 Together

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Cars are becoming kryptonite for fraudsters. Just like last week’s fraud on the ”blind” man who was caught on videotape driving on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway, this story from the Associated Press showcases yet another automotive blooper. Housing Authorities in Worcester, Mass. are now checking parking lots to see what kind of car that resident drives. (YES! I like this already!) If the cars are too nice or too expensive – or if they’re towing boat trailers behind them – they may just tip authorities off to the potential that the person has fraudulently qualified for public housing.

”So far investigators have identified nine people in violation of their lease,” the story states. (If I don’t spend money on my expensive car, I won’t qualify for public housing. Don’t want to break the rules.) And they’ve recovered $63,000 from residents suspected of fraud. One resident who was confronted on the issue decided to move out instead of facing eviction hearings, taking one boat and two cars in tow.

Cars and boats, of course, aren’t the only ways to verify an individual’s qualifications for public housing – but at least it’s a start. What’s next – wardrobe?

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Worcester checks cars to catch housing cheaters” by the Associated Press, November 28, 2011.

WORCESTER, Mass.—The Worcester Housing Authority is cracking down on people living in public housing fraudulently by checking residents’ cars.

Authority officials say expensive cars, and even boats, are often clues that residents’ income is too high to qualify for public housing. Expensive cars may also indicate an unauthorized person living in an apartment.

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