At least twice in the last few months I have gotten a calls from someone with an unavailable or private number with a foreign accent stating that I have been specially chosen to receive a government grant for about $9000. OK, really they were telling ME this! OK, perhaps they never read my blog. However, I tend to let them finish their schpeel about how I was specially selected for this honor. They tend to say that the reviewed everyone in my area and how I met the criteria (Penny in the Air) and then I wait for the hook (Penny to Drop). This is where they tell me I need to provide ‘something’ like an account number, or paying a service fee.
After they finish, I tend to unload on the person giving them certain facts about their obvious scam. Here are a few things you should know.
1) Despite how badly Congress spends money, all Federal Dollar are attached to a spending bill or allocated to a Federal Program. I’ve asked the caller to identify under which Federal Program, or Bill is this money allocated and ask for the HR number. This is when I get the run around because it stumps them. The last person told me it was from Department of Health and Human Services.
2) Federal Grants have to be applied for and Federal grants are not issued for personal use, but are intended for institutions and non-profits to carry out projects with a public purpose. If you go to the Health and Human Services Web site the very first item is applying for the grant, and you can see the types of grants awarded.
3) No government grant-making agency will make phone calls; send email or letters to solicit money or personal banking information from a potential grant recipients. Besides The government already has creative ways to get money from me, it called TAXES.
4) All Grants come in a form of a CHECK from the Treasury Department, they are not wired transfer, direct deposited into personal accounts, or sent by moneygrams or Western Union.
5) There are no processing fees for federal grants. Certain scams tend to ask for an upfront processing fee which can range from $150 to $300.
WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Trust your instincts…IF IT SOUNDS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE…IT IS (NOT TRUE)
- If you have provided personal banking information to anyone claiming to be associated with a Federal grant agency, call your bank immediately to prevent unauthorized access to your account.
- 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, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP 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.
- Look-a-likes Caller ID’s aren’t the real thing. Just because the caller says they are from the “Federal Grants Administration” doesn’t mean it’s true.. There is no such government agency. Take a moment to check the blue pages in your telephone directory to bear out your hunch or not.
Needless to say…once I finish unloading my knowledge on them, I get chewed out for being ignorant..and then they hang up telling me I missed out on FREE Money.
Oh Well. Better Safe…than Sorry.
Then I did an internet Search…seems like these people make lots of calls.
I think next time they call, I’m going to have some fun with them…
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