LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) — A Lorain County social services agency has warned of scammers targeting people who need help with rent.

Scammers are sending emails and text messages in which they pose as Lorain County Community Action Agency representatives and offer $750 in rent assistance, so long as the target first gives them $200 in cash, according to a Thursday news release from the agency.

“Rental assistance will never cost any Lorain County resident money,” the release affirms.

“It is reprehensible that scammers prey on people’s desperation,” agency President and CEO Jackie Boehnlein is quoted in the release. “LCCAA never asks for a payment to provide help and neither does any other reputable agency.”

The agency isn’t even currently offering rental assistance. Right now, it’s available through the county Department of Job and Family Services. But rental assistance is expected to return to the agency upon state approval, Boehnlein said.

Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to local authorities or to the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission. Scams can also be reported to the Attorney General’s office on its website or by calling 800-282-0515.