Have you ever seen an advertisement featuring a photo of President Obama informing you that you qualify for a government grant? Or telling you that if you are over the age of 45 you may qualify for a government grant to go back to school? While so called “government grant offers” have been popular scams for years, during the most recent recession grant scams have taken off in order to prey on individuals struggling to make ends meet or find new work.

Government grant offers take on many forms and often appear to be government websites themselves, utilizing American flags and the Statue of Liberty. However, these websites are not run or affiliated with the United States government. In the majority of cases, these websites do not themselves even offer grants, but rather, purport to offer a guide, service or “kit” for finding grants. Consumers are induced into submitting payment information under the impression that they are either getting a “free trial” or will only be required to pay for shipping and handling. Instead, consumers are enrolled in a monthly membership fee at a cost often upwards of $50. Customers claim that the products either are never made available or provide little value. Government grant scams can additionally be offered to consumer through unsolicited telemarketing and mailings.


Where to Find Government Grant Info

Importantly, the United States government offers a wide range of information about obtaining grants.  The primary resource for United States grants can be found at www.grants.gov. This website provides not only the ability to search for, apply, and obtain actual government grants, but also provides useful tips on how to avoid fraudulent offers:


How Can I Recognize and Avoid Grant Scams/Fraud?

1. You will not be contacted by the government to offer you a grant: The government does not contact people to offer them money. If you do qualify for a government grant, the government does not request payment for it.

2. There are no fees associated with applying for a government grant: Providing financial information to prove that you qualify for a government grant is typical, but you should never pay money to apply for a grant. People who run scams often claim to provide help and sometimes claim to be “federal government” officials, don’t be fooled by these scams that request money from you.

3. All government grants involve an application process: If you have not submitted an application for a government grant and someone claims you have been awarded one, it’s a scam. Grant money is not given over the phone for a fee. In order to qualify for a grant you must apply for the specific opportunity that you are qualified to apply for.

4. Government grants are awarded for explicit opportunities: Government Grants are typically awarded to states, cities, educational institutions, nonprofits and other organizations to fund research and other projects.

5. Government grant applications and information is free: Be cautious of offers that ask for your personal information (especially financial) when requesting a fee to access grant information. You can always access free information about government grants and other benefits at Grants.gov and Govbenefits.gov.


See Also

FTC Awards $1.5 Million in Refunds to Victim of Fake Government Grant Scams
New Phishing Email Claims to be US Federal Reserve
Scam Alert: [email protected] Computer Virus Blackmails Consumers 

About The Author

Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages.

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13 Responses

  1. COrry

    I just had this experience recently with a company…Grant Web Services but I can’t seem to find the sight or any information on contacting them (the info my bank gave was no good) to make sure I have cancelled the (supposed) subscription I agreed to in the fine print. any help would be much appreciated. cancelled the credit card but still need to contact them.

  2. Dimmie Rose

    They call on their own or say they will send a disc explaining how to can get the grants but they don;t tell you that they charge $79.97 a month for membership to receive information for grants. They take it out of your account without permission,,,I called and I did recover half of the $79.97, BE AWARE because it costs $1.75 for the disc and this is how they get the info to take the money out of your account without you knowing it. I check my account on a regular basis and that is how I knew they took out the fee.

  3. Steven Blackwell`

    Lately I have been approached online by companies who are,I found out to be scammers.One company got information from another company and took out $89.00 out of my banking account without my permission.That company is Platinum Trust Card.I want my money back.Thank you for your info.

  4. sonja


  5. Machesky

    Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter? Would love to follow you there, I’m on my iPhone and love reading your stuff!

  6. randy

    The federal government does NOT give individual grants. If you think you can get an individual grant, other than pell grant, I would love to talk to you about this bridge I have for sale

  7. randy

    I wonder how many people are still waiting on thier check from Obama, The biggest scammer alive

  8. Imginga

    Don’t fall for grants with foundations!!
    There is no such thing, all a ripoff….beware of
    these crooks, especially if they call themselves
    Business Acumen,Inc out of Las Vegas, NV

    Also, don’t fall for Secret/Mystery Shoppers…
    RIP OFFS!!!

  9. Kimberly

    I was called from Washington DC and was told I had 45,000 in Grant $ coming to me but first I had to send money to a 3rd world country for 100.00 fight for aids and then I had to have 1000.00 in my account they would be wiring it too. I said absolutely not. And they called me again @ 3:30 am and said what he wanted to do to me sexually!! itr was a David Anderson when I tried to call back it was a magic jack phone!!! Do you believe

  10. Carol

    Just got a call from a guy named “Mark Williams” (heavy accent, hard to understand), said he was calling from Health & Human Services in Washington DC. Said I had been approved for a grant, and a check for $7,000 would be delivered to my doorstep today. He had my email address, and my mailing address. When I asked where he got the info, he claimed I had applied for a grant in January 2011. I said to email me the deatils, he said he would. Yeah right. I never applied for any grant, although I could sure use $7,000. When I asked what kind of grant it was, he said a resseson grant (that’s how he spelled it). Would like to know where he got my info!! He mentioned an ID #, he hung up on me.


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