How Government Grant Scammers Attempt to Deceive You
Scammers Utilize Multiple Approaches: They advertise fake government grants online, make phone calls using phony caller IDs to resemble official government agencies, or send texts, emails, and social media messages claiming eligibility for government money.
Scammers Make False Promises: They promise free money or grants to cover various expenses, such as education, home repairs, business costs, and household bills.
Scammers Pose as Official Entities: By faking phone numbers and using official-sounding names like the “Federal Grants Administration” (which doesn’t exist), scammers try to convince victims of their legitimacy.
Scammers Request Personal Information and Money: Initially, scammers ask for personal details like Social Security numbers to determine grant eligibility (which they always claim you meet). They may then request bank account information to deposit supposed grant funds or demand upfront fees paid through gift cards, cash reload cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency. These requests are always fraudulent.
Scammers Employ Deceptive Tactics: To appear credible, they may even offer refunds if dissatisfied. However, once you provide your bank account information or pay fees, they will vanish with your money, and the promised grant will never materialize.
Essential Information about Government Grants
Government Grants Are Not Solicited: Legitimate government agencies will never reach out to you via phone calls, texts, social media messages, or emails regarding grants. They do not offer free government grants, especially for personal needs like home repairs or medical expenses. Genuine government grants require a formal application and have specific purposes. Visit grants.gov to learn more for free.
Never Share Personal or Financial Information: Government agencies will never call, text, message on social media, or email you to request your Social Security number, bank account details, or credit card information. Irrespective of the caller’s claims, refrain from disclosing such information, as scammers can exploit it to drain your accounts or steal your identity.
Avoid Paying for Grant Lists or Up-Front Fees: The comprehensive list of available federal grants is accessible for free at grants.gov. Never believe anyone who demands payment for a grant or insists on cash, gift cards, cash reload cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency. Legitimate government agencies do not require any form of payment for grants.
If You Have Been Scammed, Take Immediate Action: If you suspect you have fallen victim to a government impersonator or a grant scammer, contact the company you used for the transaction. Inform them that the transaction was fraudulent and request a reversal.
What to Do If You Have Paid a Scammer
Scammers often make it difficult to reclaim your money once payment is made. Act promptly to enhance your chances of recovering your funds. Learn more about the necessary steps to reclaim your money.
Report Government Grant Scams
If you come across a government grant scam, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. The FTC collaborates with law enforcement agencies to investigate and combat fraudulent activities.