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Government Grant Money Scam

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Beware of this scam...I received a phone call from a man identifying himself as "Michael," with the US Government Grant Association, and that I was to be the recipient of a FREE government grant in the amount of $9,000. He said that this wasn't a scam, that I had been selected "at random" to receive this grant from the US Government.

 

Now, I knew that this was a scam, but I wanted to see where this was going, so I played along. Michael then gave me an "activation code" (HK606 to be exact) and the name of his "Direct Account Manager, Jeff Miller" and then gave me a phone number to call (716-246-1673). He said all I needed to do was to call Mr. Miller, "immediately after hanging up," and give him my activation code. Mr. Miller would get all of my information so that I could receive the grant money. Then Michael asked how I "would like to receive my money, by cash, check or direct deposit into my checking or savings account." I said I wasn't comfortable answering that question at this time, because I sure wasn't about to give him my checking account number over the phone. 

 

He assured me that all he needed was an answer to the question, he wasn't asking for any information at this time. I told him I had to think about it, I wasn't ready to make that decision at this point in time.

 

Again, he said to call Jeff Miller as soon as we hung up the phone. The first thing I did after hanging up was to go to my source for "all things scammy" - SNOPES.com, to see what this was all about. This is what SNOPES had to say...

 

"... A new form of the “prepayment” con has been blanketing the US throughout 2004. Through it, the unsuspecting are lured by the promise of government grants into agreeing to have an “up-front fee” (usually $249) siphoned from their bank accounts. Though the fee is taken immediately, the grants never materialize, leaving those who have been led to believe they were about to be enriched to the tune of thousands of dollars sadly disappointed and a few hundred dollars poorer.

“Prepayment” frauds are far from brand-spanking new — many successful flim-flams hold out the carrot of big money (which never materializes no matter how hard it is chased after) to seduce the gullible into parting with some of their hard-earned funds. Those so gulled have acted on the belief they were arranging hard-to-secure loans at very favorable rates, often with distant countries said to be rabid with desire to lend to Americans. Or they were promised access to little-known and almost-forgotten college grants. Or they received the news they’d won foreign fabulous wealth in lotteries they had no recollection of entering. Even the venerable Nigerian scam is a prepayment con: though its victims initially believe that for helping distressed foreigners move large sums of cash from their country they will receive millions of dollars, very early into the process they discover they will have to dole out innumerable sums to various folks to bring this about..."

 

Of course, I didn't call Jeff Miller. But, the next day, Michael called me again, to find out why I had not called the Direct Account Manager. I laughed and said, "how stupid do you think I am? I've already reported you to the Better Business Bureau [which I did], because I know this is a scam. And I will continue to report you to anyone who will listen." And I hung up the phone.

 

The funny thing is, he let me say all of this without hanging up on me...I think I shocked him! Anyway, BEWARE...we have to put an end to these types of scams, and the best way to do that is by making each other aware of them. Keep talking. Keep reporting. Keep posting.

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