Protecting Yourself against Government Grant Scams: 4 Tips from the FTC

Ever got a call informing that you’re qualified to receive a free grant from the government? Don’t believe it right away. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns people about being deceived by scammers who use government grants as a conversation topic to lure unsuspecting victims.

Here are the ways to avoid falling prey to government grant scams:

Be skeptic of callers who say they’re from a government grant agency.

Chances are, they really aren’t. Don’t be fooled by a caller who claims he’s from the “Federal Grants Administration” because no such government body exists. When in doubt, do a quick search on Google to know if the person’s name is real and the agency he’s representing actually exists.

Never share your bank details with anyone.

When the caller starts asking any information about your bank account, never disclose it under any circumstance, unless you are sure that the person on the other line is an authorized representative of your bank. If you’re not careful, scammers will have the opportunity to steal your identity and use it to get money from your account.

Manage unwanted callers.

Irked with the persistent telemarketers who constantly call you for availing of a “free” government grant? You can filter out unwanted callers by signing up with FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry. Registration for this service is free of charge.

Never agree to pay any amount for a “free government grant.”

It’s because the government doesn’t charge any processing fee for grants. If someone asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a cost-free government grant, you’d better end the conversation right away.

These tips help ensure that you’re safe from people who are out to take advantage of you. However, if you discover that you’ve been scammed by someone pretending to be working for the government, you can file a complaint with the FTC on its website.

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