Saturday, December 05, 2015

Cleaver: Government grant scams prey on vulnerable Americans

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

Today, I want to bring your attention and awareness to criminal “government grant scams” that prey on vulnerable Americans. This time of year we must remain hyper-vigilant.

Government grant scams have been around for years and will continue to exist. This is partly because many people lack experience with grant systems and procedures. In a common government grant scam, a caller will typically do three things:
Claim to be from a legitimate sounding organization that often does not exist, such as the “Federal Grant Association”.

Tell their potential victims that they qualify for government grant money.

Request either a bank account number, or that the potential victim sends a payment in order to process the grant.

A criminal may also publish an advertisement in local papers, or magazines in order to solicit additional victims. These “free” money grant schemes are undeniably scams.

Amid the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, I urge you, as members of the public, to protect sensitive personal information at all times. Unfortunately, it is around the holiday season that scam activity appears to increase. If you believe you may be the victim of a government grant scam, or any other related scam, please report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-866-653-4261 or toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP. The Federal Trade Commission is aware of government grant scams and has urged the public to not pay any money to receive “free” government grants.

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