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For Immediate Release
December 7, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CURRAN WARNS ABOUT “GOVERNMENT GRANT” TELEMARKETING SCAM

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. warns Marylanders to beware of telemarketers who promise to arrange government grants in return for a fee.

Telemarketers 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 can 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.

Curran said that the government does not call individuals out of the blue to offer grant money, and that grants are awarded through 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.”

The Attorney General said that anyone who gave their bank account number to such a caller should contact their bank immediately to see if they can request a stop payment.

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