I got a call on my cell phone this morning from 202-210-0054. The heavily accented caller identified himself as working for the federal grant department and told me I was eligible for a $9000 government grant that would not need to be repaid. I hung up right away, then googled it and found the following from the actual U.S. Government:
How to recognize and avoid grant scams/fraud:
The Better Business Bureau offers these tips and suggestions:
• YOU WILL NOT BE CONTACTED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO OFFER YOU A GRANT.
The government does not contact people to offer them money. If you do qualify for a government grant, the government does not request payment for it.
• THERE ARE NO FEES ASSOCIATED WITH APPLYING FOR A GOVERNMENT GRANT.
Providing financial information to prove that you qualify for a government grant is typical, but you should never pay money to apply for a grant. People who run scams often claim to provide help and sometimes claim to be “federal government” officials, don’t be fooled by these scams that request money from you.
• ALL GOVERNMENT GRANTS INVOLVE AN APPLICATION PROCESS
If you have not submitted an application for a government grant and someone claims you have been awarded one, it’s a scam. Grant money is not given over the phone for a fee. In order to qualify for a grant you must apply for the specific opportunity that you are qualified to apply for.
• GOVERNMENT GRANTS ARE AWARDED FOR EXPLICIT OPPORTUNITIES
Government Grants are typically awarded to states, cities, educational institutions, nonprofits and other organizations to fund research and other projects.
• GOVERNMENT GRANT APPLICATIONS AND INFORMATION IS FREE
Be cautious of offers that ask for your personal information (especially financial) when requesting a fee to access grant information. You can always access free information about government grants and other benefits at Grants.gov and Govbenefits.gov.