Tuesday, September 16, 2014

$8-Thousand Dollar Government Grants Scam?

I got a  call on my cell phone today from a person that said they worked for the Department of Health and Human Services. They had all of my information and wanted to set me up with someone else that would tell me how to get $8-thousand dollars of easy grant money. I asked what the person's phone number was as they had blocked it saying it was restricted and they got a bit rude with me. I replied that they are the ones that called me and are blocking their number. I told them that I write about stuff like this and that a grant for $8,000.00 dollars sounded like something many of us in Humboldt County could use. I told him that there are people here that specialize in applying for grants that work for local non profits. The guy whom I could barely understand due to his thick accent kept interrupting me and saying,"don't you want the money?" I told him I did but that I wanted to share this with everyone since it was such a great thing so I needed more information about the program. He started to get mad and told me that it was only for 15 hundred people in the country. When I asked him why Health and Human Services was reaching out by calling people he told me to shut up. That's when I confirmed to myself that this person did not work for the government and I replied F*#@! Off and hung up on him.

He tried to call me back with the phone number 011 7 968 393-83-93, this time it wasn't blocked however, that isn't a normal phone number.

I followed up by calling Health & Human Services and was referred to a scam hotline which is 800-HHS-TIPS. After a short menu selection I was greeted by a kind gentleman that said that HHS does not call people offering grants. He said the phone number I was called back on was out of the country but that it didn't mean that much as many scamsters use what appear to be local numbers too.

I was given a reference number and sent to a web site to finish my report.

I also saw this online from the Better Business Beureau about a similar sounding scam.
http://www.bbb.org/blog/2012/06/bbb-warns-of-suspicious-phone-calls-offering-government-grants/

Don't get scammed by people wanting you to send them money. Clark Howard talks about this stuff all the time but not everyone listens to the radio so I am spreading the word here. 

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