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Government Grant Scams: The Good News and The Bad

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, here is yet another warning post about free government grant programs. Maybe it’s the last one, though, as those crappy programs seem to be on their way out.

The Truth About “Free” Grant Programs

We and other watchdog sites have written extensively about this stuff, so I won’t repeat all the nasty details this time. Just a quick summary for those just coming to the game. Skip to the next heading to get to the good news/bad news part of this post. In a nutshell, here is how the government grants garbage programs work:

  • You click on an ad or email link that promises easy government money for any purpose under the sun. I even get email messages about this from someone calling himself “President Obama.”
  • You see a sales page like the one at usagovernmentgrants.org, full of flags and seals to lend legitimacy.
  • You are urged to send for your free kit (or CD, or ebook, or member access, or whatever). Now! HURRY! BEFORE THE MONEY IS GONE!
  • You click through and give your name and credit card info to pay the $1.95 shipping and handling charge (for an electronic product…red flag!!)
  • You failed to read the terms and conditions which might inform you that once your 7-day trial expires, you will be charged up to $82 per month for your ongoing membership.

There is Good News…and Bad

The Good NewsThe Bad News
Facebook has stopped publishing ads by these misleading grant programs.Google has not, as you can tell by the paid search results when you search “free government grants,” and by generated ads, maybe even on this page
Grants.gov is the number-one ranked search result when you Google “free government grants” with or without the quotes. Usagovernmentgrants.org is number two. It is a sales page, or lead-capturing page, for EZ Grant Pro. Its “free” information will cost you $94.38 per month, which includes two paid memberships you didn’t know you were signing up for.
Grants.gov publishes the facts:

We have all seen them, late night infomercials, websites, and reference guides, advertising “millions in free money” Don’t believe the hype! Although there are many grants on Grants.gov, few of them are available to individuals and none of them are available for personal financial assistance. To find an alphabetical listing of federal personal assistance visit USA.gov website’s Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid page.

Usagovernmentgrants.gov implies just the opposite, and that’s what people want to hear:

If you are in need, out of work, working part time and income doesn’t cover basic expenses, or are ill, all types of grants, loans and in-kind services are provided by the federal government and by private foundations. These funds are available on an emergency basis or long-term basis.

Maybe we won’t have to publish any more grant warnings.
If we keep hearing about people losing their money and having problems canceling their paid memberships, maybe we will.

Look, nobody blames you. The promise of free money that you don’t have to pay back is a hard thing to ignore. But get over it, people! (I had to.) Nobody is going to bail you out by giving you free government grants.

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12 Comments

  1. Thank you bullet dodged.

    Reply
  2. In Charlottesville, VA says:

    Got a call woman about 15 minutes ago whose name was Graves and gave me a 202-783-1131 phone number (after I had to ask for it) claiming to be from US Treasury and offering me an $8,400 grant I’d never have to pay back. She stated money was in Federal Reserve in NYC. She also gave me after having to ask for the supposed website http://www.usgovernmentgrants.org. When I searched on Google many scam awareness articles came up and it also came up on one site as a site for sale. Also, in order to go the next level and speak with a Grants Officer she needed my Bank Card #. Really!?!?! I knew then this was a SCAM. The call also came into my home phone with caller ID, but the number was not revealed until I asked her for it. Also, I agree that if the US Government wants me, they know how to get a hold of me. Again, scams abound and you should be VERY careful. Know that if the US Government is calling you the number will appear in your caller ID as a legitimate number.

    If you want to learn more about the US Treasury go to http://www.treasury.gov/Pages/default.aspx. Do a search on “Grants Scams” and read well. Also read here: http://www.treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/ig/Pages/fraud-alerts_index2.aspx.

    Learn that FREE is many time FRAUD! Don’t be fooled.

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  3. I got a call from a an Indian guy who told he that i a had won a grant of 10 000 dollars from the US government grant he wanted my address , ID , bank acc which i did not give . He also gave me a number to call which is 202 2398451 to confirm but i did not . Guys if the Us government wants me for something they have my address why do i need to give it again if they can call tell me with full name and part of my status they sure do have the address to forward a cheque . Be careful

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  4. Thanks for ur posting. I recieved a call from them also but thanks to you sharing your experience i didnt go thru with it!

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  5. Hello every body, the story is here as I received a phone call from 12026663431. She was an Indian lady and told me that you have been selected for a reward of $8400 US Govt and you don’t have to pay it back. She asked me for my Checking, debit card and routing number. I thought that its not safe to give her my debit card number. She was saying again and again DON’T WORRY SIR< ITS ALL YOUR MONEY, DON'T WORRY SIR and we will transfer this money to your account in 30-40 minutes. You have been selected among 15000 people from US Govt who have good record and no criminal record. She gave me a Grant Money Confirmation Number and the same 2024701405 phone number. She told me to talk to this Kelly Watson who will transfer this money.
    I Called her at the give number and there was a lady who was saying KELLY WATSON, Sir how can I help you? I think that was also an Indian lady but with little bit good accent. She put me on hold me for at least 10 minutes and then she explained the same story about $8400. She confirmed my checking ac and routing number and told me that we will transfer this money in 30 minutes but you 1st have to send 205$ through western union.
    I said alright I have won 8400$ so you can deduct that money from my reward and send me the rest of money. She said no US Govt. need this money through western union. I said I don't want to loose my 205$ to get these 8400$. Is there any proof that I have been selected along with those 15000 people? Any documented proof or any website? She gave me the website http://WWW.USGOVERNMENTGRANT.ORG and she told me to check that website. Again I asked her the same thing about proof but now she was puzzled and told me that if need this money then you have to send 205$. Also let know when you are ready and call me if you want.
    I did not give them my debit card. I gave them my checking ac and routing number. I changed my checking ac through calling my bank just after calling her. Then spoke to her again and again she asked me with my name after saying hi I am Kelly Watson how can I help you. I asked her that I am from Pakistan, but you don't look like Kelly Watson. what is your correct name? She said that what you want to do with my correct name? I told her that you look like Indian and many people are getting these phone call for 8400$. Why you people are making FRAUDS? She said Sir you don't want money then again I said stop these bullshit FRAUDS and then she cut my phone.
    SOOOOOO PLZZZZZ don't pay any attention and don't loose your money.
    THANKS

    Reply
  6. I am so like sick of these stupid ass scams they said I was selected to Win 7000dollars and they said ur security deposit is 350 and I was like um no and if the money is free then why in the hell would u charge anyone to get it

    Reply
  7. lakitahaulcy says:

    I got a call today from a man saying tha I had been approved for a $7000 grant. He did give me the option of getting this money in cash through western union. But he also gave me another number to call for further assistance,right after he gave me a confirmation number. The other number I called was a lady name Ms. Judy telling me that I had to pay a $260 security deposit. I knew then that it was a scam.

    Reply
  8. I initially thought the site was reputable, until a caller asked me for 250 dollars via western union. Answer no, but I have already turned over my banking info. Don’t I feel like a dummy!!!! I did contact my bank and my account manager at the branch was notified. I have to go in tomorrow to close the account and reopen a new one. Wonder if this will be the end of it? Looking to hear from anyone else who may have been “scammed” like me!

    Reply
  9. Just contacted by them today. Said I already been granted 7000 dollars. Wanted my card number. The answer was no.

    Reply
  10. Just found your site via a comment on the Shoemoney blog which aroused my curiosity. I have a whole blog dedicated to this grant kit crap (see http://www.freegrantkitscams.com). Those sites are here to stay as long as affiliate networks provide the offers to affiliate marketers, and as long as the FTC is powerless. I’ll keep reporting on them until they’re gone…

    Reply
  11. Don’t you think it is rather conflicting/confusing for your readers, when you allow Google to place “work at home” generated ads/opportunities on your newsletter?

    People get the impression that these ads for work at home opportunities are genuine/legit, that you condone them, have researched them; when in reality they are probably not and you haven’t necessarily studied the opportunity.

    That is confusing and misleading for your readers, especially coming from a trusted source. I understand you get compensated from these ads, I’m only stating it’s confusing, and personally I feel; a conflict of interest. At the very least you should provide a disclaimer, to protect your readers.

    Reply
  12. Most internet scams seem to run the same patterns. They promise you either free or easy money, with little or no work invloved. They tell you the course or package is free; then they ask you to only pay for the shipping and handling (e.t. $1.95) Then they ask for your credit card number. The terms are hidden on another page. The terms are long and written in hard to read small letters. You press the submit button and CONGRADULATION! You’ve just given complete strangers your personal name, email address and home address; all of which they will sell to the Email Suckers Commitee. (ESC)You have also given them the power to take money out of credit account ;via money terms that were hidden somewhere in the terms agreement. Lastly, you’ve just paid the shipping company money to ship you some worthless garbage. The internet – a convenient way to get ripped off indeed.

    Reply

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