Federal Grant Phone ScamPosted by Admin on September 1, 2018
A more complex and successful scam that has plagued people for years involves the topic of Federal Grants. For those desperately in need of money, a grant is the best possible scenario to find. Grants are lump sums of money given for many reasons and, by their very nature, do not have to be paid back. This idea makes for a very powerful draw when a scammer comes calling.
How Federal Scam Work?
There are several variations of this scam running and it helps to understand some facts about what is going on. As is usual with telephone scams, you will receive an unsolicited call either from a recorded message or a live person who informs you that you have been awarded a Federal Grant, usually in a very large and tempting amount. Sometimes the scammer on the other end will request money to help facilitate transferring these funds from the Government to your bank account. This one is easy once you know it since there is no charge for a Federal Grant and certainly no need for a middleman to arrange it for you.
Other times the scammer is just looking for personal information so they can steal your identity. They are not asking for money to help you get the Federal Grant, they just want the information so they can be sure the money is going to the right person. A third method often used does not start on the phone but in an advertisement taken out in local papers promoting easy to obtain Federal Grants to anyone who qualifies. This time you are calling them first but the spiel is the same as they try to either solicit money or personal information, all the while misdirecting you with promises of how easy money is just around the corner.
Often these scams are accompanied by a website you can go to for more information or the forms you need to fill out to apply for the grant. These types of criminals put a lot of work into the scam making sure their spoof website looks and feels like the real government sites they emulate. Links to these sites normally come in an email that has also been carefully crafted to convince you it is from an official government agency. It can't be said enough that you should NEVER open links in unsolicited emails.
It is a fact that grants do not hunt down people to be sent to. Any and all Federal Grants have to be applied for and a process gone through before you are even considered for such monies. Even if the call or website seems legitimate, it helps to do the extra work of doing a search for the government office in question and re-entering from a different link. Quite often the scam will be quickly exposed.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Meanwhile you can browse the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) website to see if there are any grants you might actually qualify for!