LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Government grant scams are on the rise. A local woman told me that she received a Facebook message from a friend asking if she would be interested in a government grant or free money. This is where the scam started … it wasn’t from her friend, but from a crook.
A woman I spoke to who wants to remain anonymous said a friend messaged her on Facebook asking if she was interested in a government grant … an easy way to get what she thought was right. free money.
She then received a second Facebook message from another person saying she was approved. It turns out that both Facebook profiles had been hacked and it was a scammer on the other end trying to steal his money.
Chris Babin of the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana said, âWith different things going on in the economy and crooks being the opportunists they are, we have received reports that consumers are being contacted by crooks claiming to belong to a type of organization. or they have information on how they can claim free money from the government in the form of grants. “
The scammer says in the post: “Keep this a secret.” There are also a few misspellings indicating red flags.
âThe crooks want you to believe them right away,â Babin explained. âIf they can pretend to be someone, maybe you’re friend or familiar locally in town, that’s what they’re trying to do, and sometimes they create fake social media profiles using photos. even your friends and family pretending to be them sending you a link through Facebook Messenger or Instagram Messenger or any type of social media account telling you they have great information. “
Grant fraudsters usually follow a script. They congratulate you on your eligibility, then ask for your checking account information so that you can deposit your grant directly into your account or cover a one-time processing fee.
âAny type of legitimate grant process usually involves an application. This implies that you have to give information on why you might be eligible for the grant and there are stipulations attached to it, so never trust anything that is going to give you free money at all. away and never trust anything that will charge you. money up front for some type of grant either, âBabin added.
Here’s how you can avoid losing money to government grant scams:
- Don’t give out your bank account information to people you don’t know. The crooks pressure you into giving out your bank account information so that they can steal money from your account.
- Do not pay money for a free government grant. A real government agency will not ask you to pay a processing fee for a grant that has already been awarded to you.
- Lookalikes aren’t the real thing. Take a moment to check the agency to determine its legitimacy.
- Phone numbers can be misleading. Some crooks use internet technology to hide their area code in caller ID systems.
To learn more about Eye on Scams, download our Eye on Scams podcast on 10 Talks Acadiana. It’s available wherever you listen to podcasts: https://tentalksacadiana.podbean.com/e/march-2021-eye-on-scams-with-sylvia-masters/
If you have a scam that you would like me to investigate, please feel free to email me at [email protected]