Beware of Grant Scams

Orange exclamationSometimes, it’s an ad that claims you will qualify to receive a “free grant” to pay for education costs, home repairs, home business expenses, or unpaid bills. Other times, it’s a phone call supposedly from a “government” agency or some other organization with an official sounding name. In either case, the claim is the same: your application for a grant is guaranteed to be accepted, and you’ll never have to pay the money back.

But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, says that “money for nothing” grant offers usually are scams, whether you see them in your local paper or a national magazine, or hear about them on the phone or social media. 

Your Friend is NOT Pitching Grant Scams on Facebook!

Wisconsin consumers are reporting a grant scam that uses Facebook Messenger to transmit phony pitches for free money. Messages look like they are coming from friends, but they are not.

The messages state that the consumer’s name appeared on a list as being eligible to receive grant money, and that the consumer will receive thousands of dollars in grant funds after paying a fee. The consumer is encouraged to contact a company via an email address or phone number that is provided.

>> Learn more about Facebook grant scams

Wisconsin Farmers Targets for Grant Scam

Wisconsin farmers are receiving telephone calls about supposed grants from the “Federal Crop Registry.” Call recipients are left a message with a phone number to call and are told they have three days to respond to the offer. If you receive this message, take no further action.

This operation appears to be a scam:

  • There is no “Federal Crop Registry” program.
  • The number listed in the message is no longer in service.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will not call you and offer grant money. While the USDA does provide grants, you must apply for them in writing (typically online).

>> Learn more about Federal Crop Registry scams

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