Don’t Be a Grant Scam Victim in 2018

January 3, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

3-objects-telephone-1427384For our first blog post for 2018, we’d like to offer a warning, in the form of a rhyme:

“When looking for grant funding in the new year, don’t believe everything that you hear!”

We mention this because it appears that grant scammers are still out there, trying to lure gullible citizens and entities with enticements that are just too good to be true. The situation has gotten so bad that even Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has taken note and is urging caution. DeWine last month issued a statement to Ohio residents to beware of phony offers for federal grants, adding that his office had received dozens of reports in recent weeks of grant scams from people across Ohio.

“Scam artists will call and say you can get a $9,000 grant from the federal government if you pay a few hundred dollars first. It’s a lie,” DeWine said. “The truth is the scam artists will take your money, but you won’t get anything in return.”

DeWine said that the scam often begins when someone receives a phone call or Facebook message about a grant opportunity. Con artists may claim the person has been selected for a grant for being a good citizen, paying taxes or not having a criminal record, and they tell the person to pay a few hundred dollars to cover processing fees or taxes in order to receive the larger payout. In reality, there is no grant and any money the person sends will be lost. DeWine said that last year, about 50 people in the state reported losses ranging from $200 to $48,000 to grant scams.

These scams are not only contained to Ohio. Reports of such scams also have been reported in other states such as Virginia and Texas. For example, the police department in Waynesboro, Va., reported it has received at least two calls from citizens who were contacted as part of a grant scam.

Police told local reporters that the citizen is called from someone who claims to work for the federal government. Again, the caller says the citizen is to receive a government grant based on their prompt payments of income tax. The caller says the grant money can be used for education costs, home repairs, home business expenses or unpaid bills.

To help consumers avoid grant scams, here are some worthwhile tips to follow:

  • Don’t pay up front to receive a grant you never applied for.
  • Be cautious any time you’re asked to pay using a gift card, wire transfer or money order, which are commonly used in scams.
  • Keep in mind that true government grants typically are awarded to organizations, not to individual citizens, and information about federal grants is available  at Subscribers to Thompson’s GrantScape also can rely on the accuracy of the opportunities posted there.

Don’t become the victim of a grant scam.

Let us know if you’ve heard of any of these scams or any other type scam. We’d love to hear from you.

As a reminder, we have all of our Federal Funding Training Forums scheduled for 2018. Please let me know if you have questions or can make any of these. We hope to see you there!

  • Wednesday Feb 7 – Friday Feb 9 in PHOENIX

  • Wednesday May 1 – Friday May 4 in ST LOUIS

  • Wednesday July 25 – Friday July 27 in MINNEAPOLIS

  • Wednesday October 17 – Friday October 19 in ATLANTA


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