Your BBB has heard from a few consumers in our area who’ve received a call saying they are to receive a $7000 government grant. The individual claims to be from the US Grant Department, and tells consumers that they conducted a survey in the area and have selected several people in the neighborhood to receive the grant because they’ve paid their taxes and haven’t filed for bankruptcy. The consumers were also told that they never had to pay the money back and could use it for whatever they wanted. While the initial caller did not ask for bank account information, they did ask one of our consumers how old she was, and when she refused to answer the individual didn’t ask any more questions but did give her a phone number to call back and speak to “Raymond.” Our consumers did not call the number that was given to them, but instead called us. In our experience, if the return call is made, the person on the other end of the line will often ask for personal information which could include bank account information and/or a wire transfer of funds for “taxes” or “fees” related to the grant.
As a reminder to anyone who may receive these kinds of calls, government grants typically must be applied for, and often, the person applying must have a cause or program the money will be applied towards. In addition, you shouldn’t give out your personal information to anyone you don’t know. Keep in mind that wiring money is like sending cash. Once the money has been picked up, you can’t get it back. Furthermore, the government website for grants includes the following statement about these types of offers: “The United States Government does not require payment, of any kind, to receive federal grants. To report suspected fraudulent activity, contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.”
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville.