Federal Grant: Phone Scam Overview
Being able to get a lump sum of money from the government in the form of a grant is a dream come true for most people. The best part about getting a government grant is the fact that they do not have to be repaid.
There are some crafty scam artists out there who may try to prey on your desire for federal grants. The federal grant phone scam has been being used for years and unfortunately with great success. Below is some information regarding this scam and how you can avoid falling victim to it.
How Does the Federal Grant Phone Scam Work?
The main thing you need to know when trying to avoid this scam is how it works. Generally, this scam will start with a phone call out of the blue alerting you to the fact that you have been awarded a federal grant. Before you begin jumping for joy, listen to the details provided by the caller.
The scammer will usually ask for payment for their services. You need to be aware that there is no charge to get a government grant. If you receive a call like this, you can rest assured it is a scam and should be reported.
What if They Ask For Personal Information?
Some people think that if the person calling them about the federal grant does not ask for payment, then it must be legitimate. This misconception can lead to your personal information being compromised.
If the caller starts to ask for information like your full name and Social Security number, you need to hang up immediately. Letting this sensitive information fall into the wrong hands can lead to your identity being stolen. In some cases, these scammers will place ads in local papers and online to entice people to call. Even if you call them, the scam will usually work the same.
Other Techniques Used by These Scammers
One of the main tactics used by federal grant scammers to seem legitimate is giving details as to what government agency they are with and even creating a fake website. Usually, the scammers will put links to their website in an email so that the recipient will click on it and fill out the forms they have set up.
In some cases, the web address and overall layout may closely resemble an actual, official government website. You should never click links in an email without knowing the sender first. This can lead to viruses being put on your computer, which will put the sensitive information that you have at risk of being compromised.
Avoiding the Scam
Now that you know all of the ins and outs of the federal grant scheme, here are some of the things you need to remember to avoid being a victim.
- A grant will never arrive out of the blue, regardless of what the caller is telling you.
- Giving out information during these types of unsolicited phone calls is a recipe for disaster.
- Ask who they work for and research them thoroughly before any information is given. Scammers will often used spoofed number to make it seem as if they are calling from an actual government organization.
- Go to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) website for a list of grants you may qualify for.
You can protect yourself from federal grant scams by downloading our free reverse phone lookup app for iPhone or by using our online phone book to search for suspicious activity on unknown numbers that call you.
Our phone book is full of user reported phone scam activity related to grant phone scams:
(202) 738-4596: I received a call (the caller already knew my name) saying that i was selected for a federal grant. I was given a confirmation code and told to call this number. Towards the end of the call, the lady mentioned i needed to send $250 through moneygram to activate my code and i would receive my money in 30-40 minutes.
(206) 681-9680: Scammer. Trying to get bank info and trying to tell you they have a $7k grant and "help" you get it.
(518) 474-5000: Supposedly a Government Grant Service offering me 3, unprovoked, grants. SMELLS FISHY! I told her, who I could barely understand thru her thick island ascent, that I wasn't
By researching a number that calls you before giving any information, you'll be protecting yourself.
If you feel that you've been targeted by a federal grant phone scam you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also help others avoid this scam by reporting it in our reverse lookup phone book.