If you have received this email, take a time to really read it carefully!
You may be one of the luckiest people ever to get a Government Funded Grant. This Grant Kit could put thousands of dollars in your pocket. If you are in need of a financial assistance, you may qualify for a piece of the millions and millions of dollars awarded each year by private and government grant agencies to regular people like you.
What makes grants so exciting is that most of the money is awarded INTEREST-FREE. So, unlike a bank loan, you won't see interest charges eating away at your obligations. That's a better offer than any bank will ever provide you.
Many grants go unawarded every year, simply because most people don't know about the programs they may qualify for. Don't let this happen to you!
Join this great program right away with no risk at all! Send us an email back if you are interested to participate in the easy Government Funded Grant program. Don't miss your chance, as chances like that don't happen very often in our lives!
[Collected via e-mail, December 2004]
There is a telephone scam that is targeting people across the nation. The caller identifies himself as a representative of the Government Grant Association. The caller then leads the person to believe they have qualified for a government grant and in order to pay out the grant they need the persons bank account number or they have the account number and need the person to verify the account number.
Origins: Scams are omnipresent, but difficult economic times create an environment in which more people are more willing (or desperate) to be tempted by promises of "free" money. Thus early 2009 has seen a marked increase in the prevalence of "government grant" scams, many of which are promoted as offering funds made available to the public through the economic stimulus package recently passed by the
Eventually the consumer could be out several hundred dollars or even more than $1,000
In additional to the [web] sites, several
Responding to the message could result in identity theft.
The 'government grant' fraud operates on that principle. Those who are contacted by such cheats (or who respond to Internet-based advertisements) are told they are entitled to lay claim to government grants worth thousands of dollars. In return for their banking information and/or what seems like an insignificant processing fee of a few hundred dollars, said grants will be directly deposited into their accounts. Those who suspect something might be wrong with the notion of the government's handing them money for no discernable reason are told they are eligible for this form of largesse as a reward for their having paid their taxes promptly for the past few years or because they're senior citizens. Folks who further quibble with the process are issued all manner of guarantees, including the provision of
These promises and seeming proofs serve only one purpose, and it is not the protection of the
Those operating versions of this scam have in the past identified themselves as representatives of granting agencies with such names as the Government Grant Center, Consumer Grants USA, Ultimate Funding Inc., Government Grant USA, Federal Government Information Center, Federal Government Grant Information Center, National Grant Center, Federal Research Funding, Customer Care Plus, and Department of Revenue. However, that a purported grant facilitation entity is not listed above in no way proves it is on the
As to how the con is run, one of our readers who was contacted by someone intent upon victimizing him with the 'government grant' scheme reported this exchange:
[Swindler] My name is Alec Watson. (Female with a Indian or Pakistan accent.)
[Bryan] This is Bryan.
[Swindler] Can I speak with Bryan P. please?
[Bryan] Speaking. (I never answer in an affirmative manner anymore. I once had my long distance carrier changed because I said yes when they asked me if I was Bryan. Once they recorded my yes they had me saying yes to anything.)
[Swindler] Again, my name is Alec Watson from the Las Vegas Government Grant Processing Center. And you have been approved to receive an eight thousand dollar grant. We would like to verify your information. Do you live
[Bryan] Correct. Why would I get a grant for $8,000?
[Swindler] We have noticed that you have paid your taxes on time for the last
[Bryan] North Island Financial Credit Union.
[Swindler] Can you tell me what your bank routing number is?
[Bryan] No, I cannot.
[Swindler] Bryan, we can process you for $8,000 for a full free grant. We can automatically withdraw the processing amount from your back account. Do you think that a cost of $257 is worth receiving $8,000?
[Bryan] Well, if you're charging me $257 then it isn't free, now is it?
[Swindler] I can give you a few minutes to get your checkbook.
[Bryan] I am at work. I do not have a checkbook with me. (Not kidding
[Swindler] A deposit slip?
[Swindler] Sir, we cannot finish without your banking routing number; can you call someone at home and receive it?
[Bryan] Why can't you subtract the money from the grant?
[Swindler] Because we are not allowed to touch the grant money. Did you get your checking information yet?
[Bryan] Please remove me from your calling list.
[Swindler] Bryan, you don't want the $8,000? We are not authorized to remove you.
[Bryan] Ok, I found you on the web and it says you are a rip off. Please let me talk to a supervisor.
The scam succeeds as well as it does thanks in part to the many television commercials touting free government money. (Such advertisers are vending books containing the contact information for a variety of government grants, loans, and subsidies.) Though there are genuine government grants to be had, they are not available to just anyone for no purpose. Forget about the ads on television or the Internet
Regarding the government grant scam, keep these three points in mind:
- The U.S. Government does not telephone people to offer them grants.
- Grants are never guaranteed, nor are they issued for no apparent purpose, so folks should be downright suspicious of any talk of grants where the words "free" or "guarantee" are bandied about.
- Real government grants require extensive documentation with great attention to detail. There is nothing simple or painless about securing a government grant.
How to Avoid Falling Victim to Prepayment Scams:
- Above all else, have nothing to do with 'deal of a lifetime' offers that require payment in advance of fees. Do not fall in with schemes whereby you are required to prepay taxes on lottery winnings, or pay to have a prize shipped to you, or are to be charged a loan application fee. Do not pay someone for the privilege of working for them.
- With regard to 'free government grants' come-ons, disabuse yourself of the notion that the U.S. government is in the business of providing grants (aka free money) to whichever of its citizens have made it their habit to pay their taxes on time. (Rather, the U.S. government offers a disincentive to those who are tardy with their
payments — itassesses penalties for deadlines missed and charges interest on the amounts overdue.)
- Stop believing in the chimera of "something for nothing."
Last updated: 8 March 2009
Colker, David. "Don't Get Stimulated by a Scam." Los Angeles Times 5 March 2009 (p. B2). Levine, Steve. "Government Grant Scam." WROC-TV [Rochester]. 21 July 2004   (6 p.m. broadcast). Mulkins, Phil. "Tell Us Your Bank Account Number, Etc., Etc." Tulsa World. 16 August 2004 (p. A2). Roesler, Richard. "Agencies Warn of Grant Scheme." [Spokane] Spokesman Review. 23 July 2004 (p. B1). Sabatini, Patricia. "Never Give Unknown Callers Bank Account Number." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 22 October 2004 (p. B16). Williams, Fred. "Scam Uses Phone to Get 'Up-Front Fees.'" Buffalo News. 20 October 2004 (p. B7). Wyoming Tribune-Eagle "BBB Warns Local Consumers About Government Grant Scam." 2 December 2004 (p. A2).