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Low-income renters got a benefit. Scammers took one day to target it, BC Housing says

Apartment buildings are seen in the West End of Vancouver, on Thursday, January 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck Apartment buildings are seen in the West End of Vancouver, on Thursday, January 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
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VANCOUVER -

BC Housing is warning of scammers targeting recipients of a support scheme for elderly low-income renters, just one day after it was announced.

The housing agency says in a "fraud alert" on its website and social media that it will never use text messages to invite recipients to claim benefits.

It comes after the province announced on Tuesday that it was granting a $430 benefit to the roughly 20,000 seniors in the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program, also known as SAFER.

BC Housing issued the fraud warning on Wednesday, saying recipients would receive the one-time benefit with their regular payments this month.

It says no action is required from recipients to get the money.

The changes to the SAFER program also expanded eligibility for its monthly benefits to seniors with annual incomes up to $37,240, compared to the previous $33,000 limit.

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