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