Seeking grants? Better Business Bureau warns that Worldwide Asset Management Inc. of Lake Oswego, Ore., doesn't deliver promised funds to clients.
The alleged "Grant Writer," also known as WWAM USA, has acquired 21 unanswered complaints since January 2011. BBB received 3,176 inquiries in 2010, and to date, 3,776 more inquiries have come in 2011.
Complainants—which are mostly business owners—describe the same sad story: Worldwide Asset Management contacted them regarding "pre-approved" grant money and then convinced them to pay thousands of dollars in upfront fees for application processing or business plan assistance. Ultimately, the company—run by Joseph Guiliano—failed to follow-through or respond to its BBB complaints.
To date, there are also 30 complaints issued with Oregon Department of Justice.
BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington endows the following tips:
- Don’t pay for "free" grants.Read the Federal Trade Commission's warning on "free government grants" at ftc.gov.
- Don't pay for lists of grant opportunities. Visit grants.gov to find grants. Free information is also available at most economic development offices and public libraries.
- Don't pay for business funding help. Small business start-up grant information is available for free through the U.S. Small Business Administration at sba.gov or contact the local SBA office.
Check out companies and report scams at bbb.org.
For more information, review BBB's 2009 press release: Steer Clear of False Offers for Grant Money.
Visit www.akorww.bbb.org/bbb-news for more marketplace news.
Need to report a scheme? Visit www.akorww.bbb.org/scam-source.