Ken Paxton

Beware of Bogus " Government Grants "

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Government grants are not awarded to people who have not applied for them.

A consumer recently called us to ask about a so-called government grant that she was supposedly getting. She had not applied for a grant of any kind. She had just received an unsolicited phone call from someone who told her that a friend had applied for a government grant in her name. That was supposedly how the caller had gotten her phone number. The caller did not identify himself or the type of government grant. He asked her several questions, including how would she use the grant money. She told the caller she would improve the accommodations for her handicapped daughter. The caller also asked for her bank account number, saying there was a processing fee of $269. He asked her to have the money in her account by April 24th. If the money was in her account by then, and her "eligibiliy matched up," the caller said, the $25,000 government grant would be deposited directly into her account.

The consumer called her loan officer who wants to see the paperwork the caller said he was going to mail her on the 24th. We told the consumer to call her bank back and say that the "grant" is nothing more than a scam, and to request that the $269 charge be denied. The 37-year-old consumer was so excited about the money and hopeful about the help she was going to get for her daughter. We hated to dash her hopes, but we would have hated more to see her $269 stolen.

Remember, government grants are not awarded to people who have not applied for them. You cannot get a grant because a friend has applied for you. If you get a call like this, JUST HANG UP! Anytime someone holds out the hope that you are going to receive a large windfall of money, you should beware. When they next ask YOU to give THEM money, you know it is a scam. It is a dead giveaway. Don't be robbed.