Government grant offers for free money are frauds. You might receive a grant to cover costs associated with education, home repairs, home businesses, or unpaid bills. But all of them are frauds. Here are some tips for recognizing and reporting government grant fraud.
How Scammers Using Government Grants Try To Fool You
- Scammers might contact you in a variety of ways. They advertise (fake) government subsidies online. Or they can phone you pretending to be a federal or state government agency by using a bogus number that appears on your caller ID. Some people claim you can be eligible for free money from the government by texting, emailing, or posting messages on social media.
- Scammers make grandiose claims. They may claim that you are eligible for a grant or free money to cover personal expenses such as education, home repairs, business expenses, household bills, or other necessities.
- Scammers aim to appear trustworthy. Scammers will pretend to be with a legitimate government organization, such as the Social Security Administration, in addition to fabricating their phone numbers. They’ll invent an official-sounding name for a nonexistent federal entity, like the Federal Grants Administration.
- Scammers demand money or personal data from you. Scammers of government grants may begin by requesting personal information, such as your Social Security number, to determine your “eligibility” for the assistance (you will). After that, they’ll ask for the details of your bank account, perhaps to deposit “gift money” into it or to cover upfront costs. Or they’ll demand payment for such fees via wire transfer, gift card, cash reload card, bitcoin, or another method. Always a fraud, that. Read this photonovel about government imposters to learn how it works.
- Scammers aim to appear credible. If you are not pleased, they might even guarantee a return. But that is untrue. Your money will vanish once you provide your bank account information or pay fees. Additionally, the grant they pledge will never materialize.
Understanding Government Grants
- The government won’t randomly contact you for grants. It won’t email you, call you, text you, or contact you on social media. It won’t provide you with any free government funds or subsidies to cover personal expenses like house repairs, medical bills, or other requirements. Substantial grants from the government need to be applied for, and they are always given for an exact reason. Visit grants.gov to learn more (for nothing).
- Never give anyone who contacts you your financial or personal information. Governmental organizations will never contact you by phone, text, social media message, email, or other means to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card information. Don’t divulge such information regardless of who they claim to be. Once a con artist obtains your information, they can take your identity or siphon money from your accounts.
- Don’t pay any upfront fees or for a list of government handouts. Grants.gov is the only location where a comprehensive list of all federal grants is provided. The list is also free. You will never receive a call from a government entity demanding payment in exchange for an award. Furthermore, no government organization will ever request payment in cash, gift cards, cash reload cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrencies. Never and never again for a grant.
- Act swiftly if you paid a con artist. Contact the firm you used to transmit the money if you believe you may have sent funds to a grant scammer impersonating the government. Inform the provider of the gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency that the transaction was fraudulent. Then ask them to do the opposite.
If You Paid A Scammer, What Should You Do?
Scammers frequently make payment requests that make it challenging to get your money back. The sooner you take action, regardless of how you paid a con artist, the better. Find out more about getting your money back.
Report phony government grants
Visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov to file a report with the FTC if you encounter fraud. To aid in investigations, the FTC uses pieces and shares them with law enforcement partners.