Another chapter in free grant fiction

money in the shape of a present with a bowFree grants for regular people? The chance at some string-free money might seem like a godsend. But promises of free grants are just another scam to get your money.

That was the case with Cash Grant Institute, the FTC says. In fact, the man behind the scam — Paul Navestad — was ordered to pay more than $20 million. But he didn’t. So today the FTC announced that a federal judge has ordered Navestad to be jailed until he pays up. 

Here’s the backstory: Cash Grant Institute told people they’d already qualified for grants — up to $25,000 — that were readily available from federal, state, and local governments, private foundations, and wealthy individuals. But the grants didn’t exist, the FTC says. Instead, people were sent to sites that charged them for general information about getting grants. Even after paying, very few people qualified for any kind of grant, and those that did found it was a long, difficult process.

If that wasn’t enough, Cash Grant Institute also was a massive robocalling scheme, making more than 8 million robocalls — almost a third of them to numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.

In addition to the importance of filing a complaint about illegal robocalls, here’s what you need to know:

  • Don’t give out your bank account information to anyone you don’t know
  • Don’t pay any money for a “free” government grant
  • Know that scammers can fake phone numbers to look like they’re calling from Washington, D.C.

A real government agency won’t ask you to pay a processing fee for a grant you’ve already been awarded, or to pay for a list of grant-making institutions. The names of agencies and foundations that award grants are available for free at any public library or on the Internet. The only official access point for all federal grant-making agencies is grants.gov.

If you think you've been a victim of a grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. You also can report it to your state Attorney General. Read Government Grant Scams for more.

Tagged with: free, government, robocall, scam
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Comments

I was scammed for 700.00 how do I file a complaint.

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Just received a call that I am qualified to get a grant for $9,200. All I need to do is go to a Walmart or Walgreens and get a Green Dot card or something for $330.00. Also said I was not to relate some type of info when I purchased it. When get out to the parking lot of the store I buy the card or cash, call the 303 number that they gave me. Of course I'm not. I don't have $330.00 to lose.

person with an Indian accent called saying I won a grant of $9000 from the US government. When I asked what the grant was for he would not answer and just gave me an approval ID and phone number to call. I called the number, and spoke with an Indian woman. She told me I was selected from my area to recieve a grant for paying my taxes on time. They supposedly cant send a check because people complaine about the checks taking too long. So I was told to buy a green dot voucher from Walgreens or CVS for $5. But since I was getting so much I needed to upgrade the voucher by long loading $330 on it and then sending it to this supposed Government agency. I told the woman I was not paying anything for a supposed grant and would require something official in writing from the government. She responded OK very quickly and said goodbye.

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's a good thing you didn't send any money. This is a scam. The IRS does not give grants for paying your taxes on time. Get more times on spotting a government grant scam in this article.

I was called in the afternoon saying that I had A 9000 dollar grant And they told me to go to wal-mart and get A 250 dollar green card and call them back and they will send me the money

Caller from 202-562-7893 called and said I could get $9000 grant for free, no taxes paid. Please help find people like this and put them in jail!

Actually they gave me a call a few minutes ago all they asked was my age plus they already knew my name and then gave me information in how to receive it by pin and a phone number to call back.

I was contacted on Feb 27, 2014 by a foreigner with a very heavy accent, calling from a blocked number. He said he was calling from the Federal Government office in Washington in the Grant Department and that I had been selected to receive a government grant for $7,000. He told me because I had paid taxes, not filed bankruptcy and did not have a criminal record. the Federal Grant Dept was rewarding me $7,000 and I did not have to pay any of it back.

He said they needed to verify my information, he told me my last name and asked me to verify the spelling of it, if I still lived at my current address (which was listed as a P O Box address and which I responded "yes") and asked me to confirm my age, which I gave him a erroneous age. He asked me if I would accept the $7,000 grant money and I said "sure". He said our conversation was being recorded and asked me again if I would accept the $7,000 grant money and I again said "sure". He said I needed to answer "yes" or "no" and I said I had already answered his question. He said that my information had to be verified again and supplied me with an approval ID code of JJ104 and told me I had to call 206-734-4741 right away and give them my approval ID number to claim my grant money.

I called the number and another foreigner, female this time, asked me for my name and reiterated that I had been approved for a Federal Grant of $7,000, which I did not have to pay any of it back. She told me that in order to insure that the proper person received such a large sum of money that I needed to put $150 on Green Dot Money Pac and wanted to know if I had heard of it. When I told her "no", she spelled it out for me and told me I could go to CVS or Wal-Mart to purchase the Green Dot Money Pac and to put the money on it and that once I called them with the card number, they would put $7,000 on the card for me; that there would be a total of $7,150 on the card, which would be for the grant money and my deposit.

As I was speaking to this woman, I Googled Federal Grant Scams and this came up. I told her I had just read that what she was doing was a scam and she said, "I am from Pakistan and I enjoy scamming people like you". I chuckled at her and said, "I'm from the United States of America and you weren't successful at scamming me"! With that, I hung up.

IF ITS 2 GOOD 2 B TRUE ITS SURE IS FEB 28 2014 SAME ROUTINE AS THE LAST ENTRY 202 640 5461 SAME STORY SAME WOMAN AS206 734 4741 KEEP YOUR GUARD UP

I was scams for $560.00 how do I file a complaint.

You can file an online complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Received a phone call today on my cell from "No Caller ID". Caller said his name is Jeremy House and he was calling on behalf of the US Federal Grants Department. "Because of my good credit and not having a criminal record, I qualified for a free government grant. I only have to call 206-734-4741 and follow instructions to get the money." Of course, I didn't call the number.

Got a call from apparently spoofed number 1-855-533-54567. I tried to block it and it's invalid. A man with a heavy accent tried to ask for me by name but couldn't pronounce it. I asked who was calling and he said something about a government grant. I told him he had the wrong number and he said well who the F--- is this and hung up. This is very disturbing to hear this kind of language especially since I live in an area with high concentration of senior citizens.

I just received a call same as reported by USCitizen above. An Indian/Pakistani accent, calling from 202 738 4616. He said he was calling from the Federal Government office in Washington in the Grant Department and that I had been selected to receive a government grant for $7,000. He told me because I had paid taxes, not filed bankruptcy and did not have a criminal record. the Federal Grant Dept was rewarding me $7,000 and I did not have to pay any of it back.
How can we stop this happening without Drone strikes?

I know how irritating it is to get these calls.The best thing to do is hang up the phone and  file a complaint with the FTC. The more details you give in your complaint the better it is for law enforcement to track these scammers. The FTC's complaint database is available for investigations to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

I got the same calls 2 days in a row & one about a month ago. Same speel about a free grant that I don't have to pay back because I pay my taxes & bills on time. The first amount of money was $7,500 & the call from today was a grant for $9,000. The 2 numbers I have from yesterday & today are 202-738-4039 & 202-697-9238. I figured it was a scam so I never called the numbers but looked up free government grants & came across this. I hope you catch these guys. Just put my name on the National Do Not Call List also. I hope no one falls for this scam!!!!

Same calls as everyone else to get a free government grant that you don't have to pay back because I pay my taxes & bills on time. I got a call yesterday & today. Yesterday the amount I was to receive was $7,500 & today $9,000 I never called these numbers but here they are 202-738-4039 & 202-697-9238

I also had received a call today. The man said all of the same information that was given in several details as others. I did call the phone number. 206-866-5705. The lady asked me how soon could I purchase the green card? I told her that I was sick and I would go pick it up tomorrow. Then I went to my comp. and looked up scamers. I immedieatly went to this site. Very helpful. I feel sorry for those that has lost money to these people that has no morals and are thieves.

Thought I was talking to a friend I knew when I was in school. Turns out we asked a few people about this guy they all were skeptable about it. He said his name was John Edward and that if we sent hm $2500 that we were eligible to recieve $100, 000 Dollars. Turns out that this friend of mine her computer had been hacked. They told me text her, after talking to a girl I went to school with I went back and checked the area code on the number that was texting me. It was not a kentucky aea code it was 1-484-557-3608.

I fell for this grant of 7.000 dollars just like every one else I bought the green dot cards to the some of 2.990.00.I barrowed money from my mom an pawned 2 saddles. It's bad enough that every thing is do an I cant pay are bills My family is after me an cant stand to be near me .I'm unemployed at this was my Husbands SSI check. I hope they catch the DIRTY Scum that is doing all of this the number is out of THE DISTRIC OF COLUMBIA.202-738-4098 ext123. The one I talked to was Emma Brown. I'm just sick about an I'm worried about my bills an my husbands meds. I know I'll never trust ant one like this I know will never get are money back. For me I wont trust any thing like this again ever. They should be taught a hard lesson like when some one steals a horse string them up. Like in 1800 It might put a stop more scams like this from happing.

This is a hard lesson for me because I Hurt My husbands heart an I let him down with this lying act. I just wanted to make things better for us. Now that will never happen we have to pray an hope that the people are caught an Punished to the fullest extent of the LAW.

I just received a call, after listening to his sales pitch, I told him that we had a bad connection could he give me his number so I could call him back. He said that he would give me his number at the end of the call. I then asked if he could provide my name..... that's when he hung up. I tried calling number that appeared on caller ID and it says this number has been disconnected. I was born in the morning but it wasn't THIS morning! I sure hope the elderly and young folks don't fall for this scam!

Well. I got a call of course i knew about this stuff first it was a lady then a man when i called back just to confuse them she messed up multiple times and i even confused. The man lol they got frustrated and they start forgetting what they told me they called my grandmother house and gave my dad a number 701-335-7117 north dakota number. Im to smart

This is another person that was awarded $9,000 Grant for paying my taxes which I don't because I get SSI, etc, from that point forward this is a scam. Except that I had to pay treasury dept a refundable $250.00. Now why Would I give money to the treasury dept when I get my checks from them. The man got mad and said I'm going to cancel your Grant, and hung up. Anything from the government has no hidden cost to it. When asked for money it's red flag to scam.

I just got a phone call from a man with a thick accent which he told me I was awarded a federal grant and he knew my name and my address. He gave me a application number R143 and a number to call to claim my grant of 7300 dollars. The number he called me from was 202 627 1786 the number said it was from Washington DC the number he gave me to call was 727 378 2733 from Florida.
I called the number and a man named Alex told me some one will come to my house and present me with a check. The only thing I have to do is get a green dot money back prepaid voucher and put 200 dollars on it so when the guy comes to my house I have to give it to him. The voucher is to certify that everything is good and for the agent's fee's.

I know this is a scam but is there any thing I can do to help catch these scammers? If you have any ideas or know who I need to contact to set them up please let me know!

Cell phonenumber from Hillsboro Ohio 937 763 3343 have been calling for several weeks I just answered me yesterday and it was a foreign voice telling me about a granted I had got from the government for free they did not have the appropriate information which made me skeptical so I insisted on talking to the manager which I had to call a different number the number was from Seattle Washington 206 973 2541this woman also had an accent I had told her that I work at a financial institution and was aware that this sounds like a scam she got very upset and told me don't ever call here again to that I responded the way anyone would and told her that she may trick on people but she won't trick me she then proceeded to call me a b**** now how professional is that.....I don't get how these people cannot be stopped

Are there any legitimate sites that offer government grants? Are there any legitimate sites that offer work-at-home careers?

Latest phone number is 202-470-3524! Don't bite. These scams are out of control

I have gotten numerous calls over the past few weeks, Washington DC, two different florida numbers, Washington state, Nebraska, mid Michigan, and twice from unidentified.It is making me crazy. Can't understand the heavy indian accents, talk about free grant money that I did not apply for, and they know my name! How is that?

just got one of those calls. indian accent. said he was from the grant office and I was accepted for a grantof 14,566.00 said his name was Larry Gomes. gave me a grant id of gt110 and gave me a phone number and address fro a grant manager. (202)677-4473 address office of grants 2nd floor health and human services bldg. 200 independence ave.wash dc 20201. called the number and started talking to another man with an indian accent. he asked me for my drivers license #. he already had my name, address and d.o.b. I told him that this sounded like a scam and he got agitated and said ok I just canxed your file. I stated that if he was a true government official he would not have been so quick to cancel my grant. he would have explained himself to assure me it wasn't a scam. then he said something about giving me his badge # (which he did not do) then told me I could go on the website and apply again (which he did not give me). he wanted me to send him 200.00 for the application processing fee to get the grant money. I told him I didn't have 200.00 to send him. so he said your application has been cancelled.. good bye and hung up. I'm about to put an alert on me credit report and I suggest everyone else do the same. these people have to much info on us.

After reading other comments, mine was same as other comments. The guy identified himself as John Adams from the US Treasury Dept. - gave me a security code number and phone #202/738-4339 to call. The last time they had called I dropped it but this time I decided to call. I reached an woman who said she was Jacqualine (spelled differently than Jacqueline Kennedy). She went through the same scam and of course I led them on that I would do what they said. But I called the Az State Attorney General's office and they transferred me to FTC. I gave them the info. But now I am getting phone calls from the same lady and leaving messages now. Should I keep these messages?

Yes, this is a scam. I called and told them this was being recorded and they hung up. That is not a polite thing to do

I received a phone call from number 2027384098 her name was Samantha hill saying I got free grant in the amount of $7,000 go CVs or wal-mart and get a green dot money PAC card and she gave me code NK754 to use when I call her back really I told kiss my ass and hung up on her the other number is 2027388000 3219324593 2029874584

Today was the third call I've gotten about these grants, the first one I waited until after 5 pm, thought all government off would be closed by then just got an answering machine, second also promised 7000.00 grant when I asked for his manager he spelt F_ _ _ U. I told him that if he truly worked for the government he wouldn't be talking like that, asked him for phone # he wanted to know why I told him for the police, he cussed again and I hung up. Today I received another call I listened to all their bull only this time I get a grant for 10,000. When I called the other # it said the phonejak person not available, he called back, I didn't leave a for them, he wanted 290.00 to have the money sent by western union, I told him I have not worked for 2 yrs I have no money, he said borrow it from family, I've kept all # and everything about them why can't this be stopped ? What can we do ?

If you receive a call that you suspect is from a scammer the best thing to do is hang up. If you press a number or call them back they will know that your phone number is in fact a working number and may continue to call you.

I have now received two different offers one for 6.5 million and one for 10 million. Dang I'm lucky. If you would like to have them please let me know and I will forward them to you for your amusement!

You can file a complaint at www.ftc.gov/complaint and provide all the details of the scam offers. Your complaint goes to the FTC's database, which is accessed by law enforcement from the US and abroad.

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