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.”