March 4, 2014 – Central Illinois BBB has recently received inquiries from consumers who received suspicious calls from scammers claiming they qualify for a government grant.
BBB officials say this is a popular scam since most people are not familiar with government grant programs and are not sure if they might qualify for one.
The calls appear to originate from Washington D.C. Scammers claim consumers were randomly picked to receive a seven or nine thousand dollar grant from the government.
BBB says grant scammers generally follow a script. They congratulate you on your eligibility, then ask for your checking account information to either deposit the grant into your account, or to pay a one-time processing fee. The caller may even reassure you that you can get a refund if you're not satisfied.
To avoid being a victim of a grant scam, BBB has the following tips:
File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission if you think you have been a victim of a government grant scam, complaints can be filed with the FTC online or over the phone, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
For more information, visit bbb.org.