Maine official warns churches of scam to get rent money

Posted Feb. 02, 2012, at 6:18 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider is warning churches and nonprofit groups about recent reports of calls from individuals claiming to need help paying their rent.

“There are reports from Maine church officials who have received phone calls from individuals requesting help to pay rent,” Schneider said Thursday in a press release. “One particular caller was very believable and stated that she needed $170 to rent a home in Winthrop. As it turns out, this particular property is a home which was recently listed for sale and the owner was still living there.”

The caller most likely obtained the information on any number of websites where properties are listed for sale, according to the press release. The caller requested the payment be mailed to the “land lady” whose address was a post office box in Washington, D.C.

People who believe they have experienced a rental assistance scam should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 626-8849.