The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides Section 8 assistance to families who make 50 percent or less than their area’s median income. Section 8 fraud occurs when people:
- Work without reporting their income
- Allow others to live with them but don’t report it
- Report dependents living in the household that aren’t
- Rent out the assisted unit
- Falsify documents or signatures
How is Fraud Perpetrated by the Humbug Gang
Here’s the good news: this type of fraud isn’t usually perpetrated by organized criminal groups – at least the Humbug Gang hasn’t figured it out yet.
How is fraud perpetuated by the Deceit Family
Chris is a fortunate kid. His parents offered to cover for all of his tuition, room and board while at college. But this wasn’t enough for Chris – he wanted some spending money too, and his parents refused to budge on giving him any. Getting a job seemed out of the question, as he’d have to give up many nights and weekends – and what’s the point of having money if you have no time to spend it? So the next thought in his mind, naturally, was defrauding the government. Chris decided to apply for Section 8 assistance. Here’s the catch though – he didn’t even use his own identity. By working on computers all the time in college, he was becoming an expert hacker. Chris hacked the system and stole the identity of someone in his area that would be in need of Section 8 assistance but hadn’t applied yet. He was approved and received a housing assistance voucher that he later sold on the streets. He now has a nice source of spending money to take lavish adventures without having to work at all.
How the government can prevent it
The new Section 8 fraud department will soon run incoming applications against the comprehensive public records database for information verification, and will also include authenticity-based questions in the application for assistance. When individuals apply for assistance, they will soon be prompted to answer several questions pulled from public records information that likely only they would know – such as the hospital they were born at, where they first went to school, and through which company they are financing their car (or if they are at all). Once this information is authenticated; the information gathered on the application will be run against the comprehensive public records database and flagged if any inconsistencies come up, such as differing salary or census information.