Government grant scams have been an ongoing issue for a while. It seems that a new one pops up every day. In the case of the Cleveland BBB, they have issued a warning about a new grant scam–and apparently people are losing lots of money from it. In fact, the Cleveland BBB reported a woman last week lost several hundred dollars.
The woman who was swindled said she received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She was then told she was eligible for $10,000 in grant money given to families in need. The scammer on the other end of the line told her that all she needed to do in order to get this grant is pay $730 using Green Dot MoneyPak cards to cover processing fees.
After getting the cards and paying the $730, she was then told she needed to pay an additional $370 to cover state taxes! (Crazy, right?!)
After refusing to pay, she was told the $10,000 grant money would be frozen.
The BBB reports that even more people are falling for this scam. The government NEVER calls and awards grants in this manner, ever.
Here’s a tip: If the offer sounds to good to be true, it usually is. If you want to research real grants, then the best official place to do so is www.grants.gov. Bottom line? Avoid offers and purchases that require you to send the person money upfront. It’s just not worth it. And 99.9% of the time a scam.