Grants in America LLC takes your money north to Canada; No grant

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller

Lloyd Schaeffer, of Garden City, says he doesn’t have exorbitant debt, lives well, and has enough money on hand to do the things he needs to do.

“I was just surprised when I received a letter saying I’d qualified for a grant,” he says. “The letter said my free money grant has been approved.”

The letter states that after careful consideration, Schaeffer was selected as a recipient. Although the specific amount being requested was not listed, “you have been pre-approved to select any of the four amounts listed below or combine them if you need a larger amount!”

“So, I could have gotten as much as $360,000 in grant money,” Schaeffer says. “The letter states – ‘This is a REAL grant!'”

Residents in the region alerted by this letter may want to reconsider, as Schaeffer did, and contact BBB. It seems a bit fuzzy but letter asks for an acceptance fee, paid by certified check or money order. The money is to be sent to Grants in America, Sumas, Washington, a town on the border near Vancouver, Canada.

This scam is designed to trick consumers into paying a fee to collect a larger sum in the form of a government grant.

Government grants are out there but securing one can be a complicated process.   Don’t fall for this scam. Keep these tips in mind if someone tells you you’ve qualified for a government grant:

  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • Protect your personal information. Never give personal information, including Social Security, bank or credit card numbers, over the phone to an unknown person. Always research the company first at www.bbb.org.
  • The Government will not ask for money. The government won’t require you to pay an advance fee before you can collect the grant money, because this practice is illegal.
  • Grants don’t arrive unannounced on your doorstep. You won’t get a grant without applying for it first.
  • Get information in writing and have them mail, fax, or email it to you.
  • Never wire money. Wired money cannot be traced and once it’s wired it’s gone forever.
  • Do your research. You can research, free, information on government grant programs at the U.S. government Web site, http://www.grants.gov.

“Well, I’m certainly glad I didn’t need a grant,” Schaeffer says. “It would cost more than I would have gotten.”

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under News You Can Trust

One response to “Grants in America LLC takes your money north to Canada; No grant

  1. Mark Burrows

    Exactly. Grants ARE available, but believe me, governments never go about phishing for applicants. Rarely do they even make public statements what grants are available except when elections are coming up and then everyone gets glossy bulk mail in their post, and most folks toss it in the recycle bin before they even read it. If you are in need of a grant, you have to go to government sites or to government buildings and ask for information. Then it is a maddening and hair pulling process as you jump through all kinds of hoops and fill out tons of forms. Grants are not given out willy nilly. To qualify, you have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your reason is applicable. Also you will be heavily scrutinized if do not apply your grant to the purpose you have indicated and could very well likely land yourself in front of a judge for misappropriation of granted funds.
    So, it is plain and simple. If you receive anything in the mail or an email offering you something that you had not shown interest, it is bogus.
    Here is an easy clue, check the envelope it came in. If it was bulk mail, that means the same thing went out to thousands of people, which means you are not a select few. Computers and printers these days make things appear very personal but the software simply just changes names and addresses and creates letters, snazzy looking documents, and envelopes. They even have computer driven machines that neatly folds and stuffs the envelopes. That way there is less staff to feel guilty and risk whistle blowing their operation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s