Free Money …You Eventually Pay the Price
Phone, email and even regular mail solicitors claim you can receive free money, never have to repay the 'grant' and the money can be used for personal needs. They ask for an application and an upfront fee.
Generally, obtaining a grant is a complicated process, requiring documentation and research. Applicants must meet very specific guidelines the funds must be used for specific projects that the foundation wishes to support.
Grants are usually given only to serve a social good, such as bringing jobs to an area, training under-employed youth, preserving a bit of history, etc. Organizations do not usually give out grants for personal debt consolidation or to pay for other personal needs.
"If phrases such as 'free grant money' and 'never repay the grant', are used keep in mind that genuine grants do not have to be repaid; there is no need to use the word 'free'", said Janna Kiehl, CEO of the BBB. "A warning that the scam artists are not themselves familiar with the grant process and count on the fact that you are not familiar with the process either.”
5 Things to Know:
1. Never provide money up-front to an unknown company.
2. Scam money is rarely retrieved, that's part of the deal with a scam.
3. "Free money” may mean free for the scammer.
4. “You qualify” may mean that you qualify to give it to the scammer in the form of ‘fees’
5. These types of scams use your bank and credit card information to take money, not to make a deposit. Protect your personal data. Say no.