AARP AARP States South Dakota Scams & Fraud

Government Grant Scam Hits Facebook

The federal government grant scam has been around for years but now, scammers are finding new targets through social media.






How it Works:

 

  • You see posts from people on Facebook claiming they have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars in a grant from the federal government. They suggest that you could be eligible, too.
  • You call the listed phone number, give some personal information, and are told you qualify — all you have to do is send a money order or provide your bank account information to cover processing fees.
  • You never get the grant.






What You Should Know:

 

  • Government grant applications and information about them are free.
  • The “Federal Grants Administration” – the agency the scammers say they work for – does not exist.
  • If you didn’t apply for a federal government grant, there is no way you would receive one. If you’re offered a grant you know nothing about, it’s probably a scam.






What You Should Do:

 

  • Never pay money for a “free” government grant.
  • If you think you may be a victim of a government grant scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint or 1-877-382-4357.

Anytime you suspect fraud, you should alert the SD Division of Consumer Protections by visiting  www.consumer.sd.gov or calling 1-800-300-1986. They can investigate the issue and warn other South Dakotans to stay vigilant.

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You can join the Fraud Watch Network and receive alerts about scams like this happening in South Dakota. Any one of any age can join for free by visiting  aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or to receive Fraud Watch Network alerts by phone, call 1-866-542-8172.