government is giving away free money!! This is the echo of government grant
The scam sites claim these grants can be used to start a business, pay off debts, purchase a home, buy a car, education, even take a holiday - and the best part is that because it is a grant, it does not need to be repaid!
Money for nothing. Yes we would all like it to be true, however most people
realise it is a con. The people who don't and get taken in, want to believe
it is true.
Some scams try to add a touch of genuineness to the bait by saying that you qualify for a government grant because you have been a good tax payer, or that it is part of the Obama stimulus package.
Some government grant scam sites claim billions of dollars go unclaimed each year, and they can help you get you share of it, or they have found a 'secret door' to access money on your behalf.
Real grants do exist, however they are for specific purposes, and you have
to apply for them usually by filling out lengthy documents.
The scams work in two ways. The first is using telemarketing. You will
receive a call out of the blue from an official sounding government
organisation either advising you that you have successfully been awarded a
government grant, or offering to help you get a government grant of between
$5,000 - $10,000.
You will either be asked for your banking information so the loan can be deposited directly into your account, or you will be asked for personal information. This information is needed so the scammers can use it fraudulently.
The second way government grant scams work is when scammers advertise 'free grants' inviting you to call a toll free number for more information. If you call, they ask you some basic questions to see if you qualify, and then congratulate on your eligibility and then ask for your checking account details to directly deposit the grant into your account, or ask you for a one-time processing fee.
Some scammers put ads in newspapers or magazines advertising government loans for small businesses. If you apply, you will be quickly approved, and then asked to wire money [thousands of dollars] to cover the insurance on the loan. This is just a variation of an advance fee scam.
The FTC says following a few basic rules can keep you from losing money to these government grant scams:
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair
business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help
consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a
complaint or to get
free information on consumer issues, visit
ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY:
1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the
Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and
investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement
agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
File a complaint with the FTC
If you think you may have been a victim of a government grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC online at www.ftc.gov, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Take control of the calls you receive
If you want to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive, place your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. To register online, visit www.donotcall.gov. To register by phone, call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number you wish to register.
A Federal Trade Commission page with information on grant scams
A Federal Trade Commission on telemarketing and grant scams
Information on government grants, what they are, and how to find them
Online catalogue of federal domestic assistance programs. Hard-copy available for a fee through the Government Printing Office, (202) 512-1800 or toll-free outside of the DC metro area, (866) 512-1800.
Information and applications from the U.S. Department of Education for student financial aid programs. Telephone hotline, (800) 433-3243, operates Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Information about a wide variety of state and federal government benefits and programs. Telephone hotline, (800) 333-4636, operates Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
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