Securing a government grant is a highly competitive and complex process. Still, each year thousands of consumers are victimized by scammers who convince them they can get “free” money, just by paying a small “registration” or “processing” fee.
Grant scams are on the rise as credit becomes harder to get. Many make their pitch via the Internet or through telemarketers. Scammers use technology to disguise their location in caller ID systems. Although it may look like they’re calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world. The scams operate by taking money upfront and then failing to provide any grants. Offers of easy money can be tempting. But no matter how good the deal sounds, don’t waste your money. You will not get a government grant to pay medical bills or fix your car. The fact is, 98% of federal grants are awarded to schools, local governments, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations.
The Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs cautions consumers to not do business with telemarketers or spam e-mailers offering “free” grants. Consumer Affairs can be reached at 340-3260.