ALERT: Government Grant Scams

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The Better Business Bureau serving Acadiana has another scam that has appeared in this area involving government grants. Keep in mind, if someone tries to offer you free money or if you see an ad for free money, it is usually a trick.

According to the BBB, victims were offered “grant money” by a so-called government agency either by phone or through an ad in a magazine. The grants were advertised as a way to cover educations costs, home or business repairs, past due bills.

The convincing con artist will ask a list of questions to determine if you qualify for the fake grant money. Then the clever scammer will somehow trick you to release your personal bank information so they can steal money from your account.

Be wary of anyone offering free grant money from the government. According to the FTC, any offer of FREE money is usually a rip off.

This seems obvious but anyone can be fooled. Never give out your bank account information to people you do not know. If you are sharing it with a company make sure you trust this company and know exactly why they need your account info.

A government grant will never cost you money. If you have to pay to receive the money, then it is not free. Government agencies never ask its recipients to pay processing fees. The only official access point for all federal grant-making agencies is

Trust your gut. The person on the phone could be lying. Just because the caller says he’s from the “Federal Grants Administration” doesn’t mean that he is. There is no such government agency. Do your research to see if the agency exists.

Phone numbers and caller ID will trick you. Con artists use Internet technology to disguise their phone numbers. Although it may look like they’re calling from Washington DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.

If you want to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive, place your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

If you think you may have been a victim of a government grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC online, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4375). The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization. BBB strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.

Please contact Better Business Bureau at (337) 981-3497 24 or 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.