December 7, 2004
WARNS ABOUT “GOVERNMENT GRANT” TELEMARKETING SCAM
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. warns Marylanders to beware of
telemarketers who promise to arrange government grants in return
for a fee.
are calling Maryland citizens, saying they have been specially
selected to receive thousands of dollars in free grant
money from the federal government. The caller asks the person
to supply a bank account number, supposedly so that the grant
be deposited. If the person does so, a “processing fee” of
$249 or a similar figure is taken from the bank account. No grant
money arrives, only a packet of generic instructions on how to
apply for government grants–none of which the average citizen
would actually be eligible for.
said that the government does not call individuals out of the
blue to offer grant money, and that grants are awarded
an application process. He said that information about government
grants is available for free through sources such as government
websites (www.grants.gov, for example) and public libraries.
If someone calls you promising a ‘government grant,’ and
wants money or your bank account number, just hang up,” Curran
said. “This is just another scam.”
Attorney General said that anyone who gave their bank account
number to such a caller should contact their bank
to see if they can request a stop payment.