Scammer tries to steal $1,300 from charity using fake housing voucher

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – A Lansing charity had a close call with a scammer this week.

Homeless Angels says someone tried to get away with $1,300 by using the group’s name.

Many organizations use a check voucher to help those in need pay for rent or a security deposit for a new place. But as it turns out someone in Lansing has been making fake vouchers as a way to cash in on the charity’s good name.

What started as a one-man operation to help the homeless has grown.

“I never thought we would be this big,” said Mike Karl, founder, Homeless Angels.

The founder of Homeless Angels, Mike Karl says the Community Funded Hotel Program now houses 50 families each night and donations like this have skyrocketed.

But the growth has brought in some growing problems too, scammers.

“Somebody had tried to cash a check voucher in the Homeless Angels name with a name on it of someone who was representing the Homeless Angels that I’ve never heard of,” said Karl.

A fake housing voucher for $1,300, signed with a fake name from the Homeless Angels.

“It not only hurts the landlord. It hurts the people that really need the help that are living on the streets that could use the help,” said Karl.

Karl says word of this fake voucher triggered a large number of calls from people seeking similar assistance for rent.

He wants to be clear and says the Homeless Angels does not provide housing vouchers, but works with legitimate agencies that do and hopes scams like this stop for good.

“Everybody deserves a home but there’s ways to do it and this is not the way,” said Karl.

Karl says they have turned this information over to the Lansing Police Department for investigation.

6 News contacted police Tuesday and so far we have not heard of any arrests in the investigation.

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