Don't Fall Victim!
Have you seen an advertisement online or a late night infomercial claiming you can gain access to free money through government grants? If so, you may have paid close attention. Free money sounds great, especially when the economy is in trouble, millions of Americans are losing their jobs, and many are unable to afford their mortgage payments.
Yes, government grants do exist. Although most grants are designed for local governments and non-profit organizations, there are grants for individuals such as yourself. Although they do exist, they are difficult to find and harder to obtain. Unfortunately, this is not something that Americans in financial distress want to hear. They want free money and they want it now. That is why some find themselves victims of government grant scams.
Government grant scams come in a number of different formats. Some individuals will contact you by phone or email. They claim you qualify for a government grant. For a processing fee, they will help you get that free money. Others are products sold which are designed to help Americans get free grant money. Unfortunately, these products are usually filled with general information you can find online for free. These are just two examples of government grant scams, but they are the two most common
As previously stated, free money sounds nice, but you need to be cautious of government grant scams. They do can a lot of damage. Continue reading on for five legitimate reasons why you should avoid these scams or anything else related to grants that sounds too good to be true.
1 – Embarrassment
In the initial stages of providing an individual with your information or the beginning stages of buying a government grant infomercial product, you will be filled with excitement. After all, you were all but provided with a guarantee you will get free money. Unfortunately, when that free money does not arrive, reality will set in. You will realize you were swindled. Although thousands of Americans are scammed each month, some with government grant scams and some with work-at-home scams, it is embarrassing. You likely want to sweep the incident under the rug. Many scammed rarely seek reimbursement for the money spent, contact consumer-reporting websites, or contact the authorities out of embarrassment.
2 – It Costs You Money
Government grants do exist. There are grants available for individuals who want to attend college, want to expand a business, want to rebuild their home after a natural disaster, and so on. Government grants themselves aren’t scams, but the people and companies who get you to pay usually are. A late night infomercial product may have old and outdated information that you paid for. A caller claiming you qualify for a government grant will ask you to pay a small processing fee for your application, which they will never submit because they do not have the authority to do so. Essentially, you spend and waste money.
3 – It Can Ruin Your Credit
As previously stated, a common scam is when someone contacts you by phone or email claiming you qualify for a government grant. For a processing fee, they will gather your information and submit an application on your behalf. Since this is done via phone or email, you will be asked for your bank information, including the routing number and the account number. Do not provide it. Some individuals only have the above mentioned “processing fee,” taken, but many have more. You provided your account information to a scammer. They can clean out your accounts and ruin your credit.
4 – It Is Hard to Get Your Money Back
If you fall victim to a government grant scam, there are resources available to help you. If you provided your bank account information to someone promising to help you get free grant money over the phone or via email, take action now before it is too late. Contact the police and your bank. If you purchased a late night infomercial product filled with inaccurate or old and outdated information, request a refund. Unfortunately, you may be charged a restocking fee or must pay additional shipping and handling charges, meaning you get only a portion of your money back.
5 – They Are Easy to Avoid
Luckily, government grant scams are easy to avoid. If you truly want to apply for a grant and believe you qualify for one, head to a government website. These websites end in .gov. Or, contact a local government official. They can give you information on grants available to individuals like yourself and legitimate resources on how to find them.