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Another chapter in free grant fiction

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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

If you think you've been a victim of a grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC at 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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I got a phone call from a man with an Indian accent claiming to be from the design offices in Washington DC today about a grant that I had been awarded because I have no criminal record, pay taxes, and no bankruptcy. This grant was for $9000 a year for 5 years. I called dhs and there offices were closed today for a federal holiday. Today is 4-17-17. His name is ray Roberts and the phone number is 202-681-5067 ext.7168.

A friend just received $120,000 from a US Assisted Grand Fund company. He had to pay $2,500, but the money is in his bank account. How do you explain that? I am afraid to try in case I'm not as lucky.

Your friend might not have been as lucky as you thought. The check might have been fake.

While banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, uncovering a fake check can take them weeks. If a check you deposit bounces – even after it seemed to clear – you’re responsible for repaying the bank. Money orders and cashier’s checks can be counterfeited, too.

just received a text from someone thelling me htat i have a free grant for 100000.00. He wanted my name an adress so the money could be delivered and i was to send him 2150.00 for ups fees. I didn't but this is a scam.

I had the same phone just the other day telling me to send so much and I get back more

The first thing that made me figure out it was all bs is because they all have strong Indian accents and they were giving me names like Peter McCoy and Martin Miller I said yes right! Then I goggled what is a government registration card and it's a damn passport! And now that I'm seeing and getting calls I think I remember seeing this on the news where these ppl are in India scamming ppl so this is what they doing scamming to get that $250.00 to get a passport made because if I'm not mistaken that's exactly how much one cost to get made

5/24 contacted saying I qualified for gov. Grant/ $9,000. Having paid my bills on time, and no criminal record for past 6 years! Played along and was transfered to another agent who gave me an activation code#. Then I would need to go to local Walmart. Before going into store I wkuld need to register with fed bank of United States by paying $200! The money would then be waiting for me inside! HA HA! Glad I checked 1st!

I got a call saying the government wanted to give me a 9,000 grant for being a good citizen but I needed to buy a 250 dollar registration card and then receive the $9,000 by western union

Glad you know the signs of a scam and didn't take the bait.

I just got a call from Arizona that said that I was chosen to get $9,700 because I didn't have any bankruptcies and I paid all my bills on time gave me a code and to call a phone number and ask for a certain person they want need to go to Walmart buy a card put $200 on it and then my $9,700 would be put on that card this is so a fraud.

I got the call two days in a row from 315-210-8633 but if I got the grant for not having a criminal record and paying my bills on time wouldn't they have my correct name and address? lol

I just received same call from someone with thick Indian accent. $9000 the government was giving me because I had no criminal record, no bankruptcy, paid my taxes etc...etc... Had to call this number immediately after we disconnected call. I knew immediately it had to be a scam so I went right to Internet to look it up. Imagine my surprise when I saw the first post was from 2014. Three years and the scam is still going? Why hasn't anyone put a stop to this yet? I was not told to get green dot card or pay a fee but I am sure that if I called the number I was given that would have come next. I am filing a complaint with my state attorney general immediately. Someone needs to stop these people before one more person gets scammed of their money. I was lucky cause all the info they had on me was my name, phone number, zip and marital status. This needs to be plastered all over the news, Internet, social media and wherever else it can be seen. I'm sure many people lost money because they didn't stop to question why

I was offered by Federal Govt. A $9000 grant . Get the money thru Walmart. Pay Walmart a a$200 fee that doesn't go no where. A collection fee. I get it right back w/ my $9000. Is this a scam ? I have names & #'s. Please advise

That sounds like the government grant scam.

It goes like this: someone calls, and says you're going to get a Government Grant for being a good citizen, but you have to pay a fee first. If you send the money, it's gone for good. You never get the grant they promised you.

Im 58 I'm trying to get a business started. But don't have the money. I was told by my doctor I to get train for a desk job or work on line working for myself, a business. I'm really need help with a Free Grant from Washington DC.I don't want to count on my kid's to help me. Please help me!

There are no Free Grants. Anybody who says you will get a Free Grant is trying to scam you. If someone promises you a Free Grant:

  • Don’t give out your bank account information
  • Don’t pay any money
  • Don't buy an iTunes card or send money by Western Union or MoneyGram


I too received a call, Indian accent..pick up Western union, grant of$9250.00 after I buy a $250.00 gift card. He asked for only city,state and zip.Then I have to tell him 2 digit transaction #, and he'll give me the money transfer control #. I'm going to Walmart and buy a candy bar. See if I'll still get the mtcn.I will follow-up when it's done.

Was it a scam? I recieved the same call

I just had the same call i won $9,700.00 all I have to do is buy an iTunes card for $250.00 they had most of my information but didn't ask for information and I will receive the money via western union these people need to be stopped the number that called me was 2026576648

Just got a call that I received a grant from Washington because I’m a loyal citizen and I don’t have any criminal convictions or bankruptcy . They game a code and a number to call officer Rose Milton. They had an Asian accent or Philippinos not sure . They told me to drive immediately to CVS store and call them from the parking lot . Lmao . Like I have that kind of time . Please save yourself time . Don’t talk to these people don’t give them any infos of yourself .

My call(s) came from +185231, like a short code. The Asian(?) monotone lady claimed she was calling from the US Federal Grants Dept. "You were picked because you haven't filed a bankruptcy or have a criminal background." She continued on with her spiel even after I had told her that their reasoning's behind picking me were not completely accurate. Gave me the number to call at (202) 930-5317, and ask to speak with a Senior Manager. She even got a little pissy because I had chuckled a few or more times and repeatedly had to request her to repeat whatever she had just said.

Same M.O. of delegating a callback to a D.C.#, giving me a Confirmation #/code, and having the options of either receiving via WalMart or through my bank account.

After looking up the callback number online before calling, I now had a clue. Called it and had to leave a message! They actually called me back pretty quickly. Must be screening their calls. Did not give them the Conf. #, instead I stated that "Evonna" did not understand that the address she confirmed with me was incorrect. So, Mr. Sr. Mgr. had asked me what the correct address was. I began giving him the address and he interrupted me to ask me what information I was attempting to give him. I explained that he had just requested the correct address info. Then he asked me, "...for what?" "For what!?" I simply hung up.

The originating short code has attempted to reach me 2 more times while I've been typing this "Comment" -Funny, everything I know about our federal gov't is that if it would [pertain to $$ would be documented. Most likely in triplicate somewhere.

I just got a call from 8455828735 from and Indian guy stating I have a grant for $9000 and I had to register my name with the government by buying an iTunes card and putting $200 on it:/ like the government doesn't know me!! Lol any way the guy's name was "Mathew barron" watch out for them!!

I just recieved the same call about a grant..looked it and came across this. They are also doing the same thing on Facebook....beware peopl

On Thursday 1/11/2018 I received 4 “Unknown Caller” phone calls. I answered the first time and some man started explaining that I’d been awarded $14,566.00 in Federal Grant money. When I started questioning him about it, he quickly hung up. Again, I answered the second call, same thing. He hung up. The third time I answered and the call dropped. The fourth call was from an Indian woman who explained to me that I was aapproved for $14,566.00 in Federal Grant money. She provided me with an ID number SA702. She informed me that I should call the number (631)570-8491. So I did call the number yesterday. The man that answered the call (Jerry Wilson) told me that I am I approved for the Federal Grant money ($14,566.00). He told me to go to Walmart and pay $250.00 for a verification card. I was like, are you kidding me? I’m currently unemployed and don’t even have $250.00 to do that! I thought this was such a blessing, I’d have money to pay bills, and relief from not having any income. What a letdown. Don’t falll for this, total scam.

This was a useful post and I think it is rather easy to see from the other comments as well that this post is well written and useful. I bookmarked this blog a while ago because of the useful content and I am never being disappointed. Keep up the good work.

there is another one now. Walmart foundation. Email walmartfoudation @ Really now. Walmart would not use Gmail.

I had received a call today Monday February 19 2018, from a unidentified # (came in as a private number on my phone) the person was male didn't get to catch his name but had an accent, sounded like from India, also had with alot of background talking & other callers making calls, I'm not sure but, they said I had been chosen for a grant from the government $9700 to be exact & all I'd have to do it answer a few questions verify my name, address & age then asked how I wanted to receive my grant,I chose direct deposit & gave them my closed bank account information which they did take & then they give me a verification code & said I had to call 562-912-3597 then give them my verification code to confirm my identity then they'd give me instructions on how to receive my grant of $9700, that I had to go to CVS or Walmart to purchase a Federal Regurstration Card for $250 but that $250 would be paid back to me within my transaction, so then I asked what if I dont have the $250 for the card, Robert was the guy that has 'my file' said I could give him a estimate time of when I'd come up with $250, he said maybe in a couple hours or so..? Then I asked what if I can't come up with the $250? He said then I can't receive the grant & it'll go to someone else.. then he asked if I wanted to cancel the grant or continue & to give him a estimate time. I said maybe in 2days I'll have the $250 then Robert said okay to call him back on Wednesday February 21 2018 by 11:30 & before 6:30 to receive my grant.. so I'm not going to lie I tried to come up with the $250 for that Federal Regurstration Card, so I went to look it up online to see if I would see what it was, how to purchase it & I typed it on the Google search as is: Federal Regurstration Card Walmart then popped up a lot of article & videos about the Governmant Grant being scams, even instructions on how to catch one these scammers.

I think I just got that phone call. Guy on the other end day I was picked to receive $9000.00 from the federal government. When I asked to speak to his supervisor he said no. So I hung up.

I have been dealing with these lady who says that I qualify for some cash . She says the cash comes from liberty cash grant which is supposed to send me over $10000 but I have to pay a $200 processing fee

YAY! THE GOVERNMENT JUST SELECTED ME TO RECIEVE 9000$! I just cant believe it. The U.S Government actually picked me because "You have paid you bills and never been in trouble".....
All i have to do is "buy a registry card from the people for 250$ and you will get that back with the grant.... "

Wwwwaaaaiiiit.... a minute. i have to buy a registry card from the people?
You mean the blood sweat energy and 7 years of service wasn't enough payment.
So the people are demanding me to put money down to get money back? cant you just subtract it from the grant?

lol Courtney Walker not related to the Walker family i know.

i am a vet and have an issue getting the money owed to me. lmao
how many people actually paid "the people" get a grant.

Just received a call from ‭(206) 244-1638‬ Seattle Washington. Stating I received a free grant for $9,000. I told him send me the money first and I will pay the $250 taxes after. He got upset and raised his voice. I hung up. He has never called back again.

Just received a call that I qualified for a $11,300 Federal Grant. Oh boy! They are at it again. They want me to call this number back.. NOT!

I recived the same call today i didnt fell for the scam but the only thibg that kinda freaked me out was that they knew my full name without me even telling them anything and they knew where i lived.. As in the city and state.. Shut if they knew that what else didnt they know.. That freaked me out completely..

I got a call from 212-890-0852 today Saying I got a 5000 grant. He said he needed a debit card to put the money on. I gave him an empty visa gift card number and he said he couldn’t get the money to go onto. He gave me the website and an employee number. He said he’s from a town in my area and gave me an address but the call was from New York. My phone shows it. I’m definitely not giving the guy my debit card numbers. But has anyone else received this call?

I just got off the phone with these people. Asked me to pay $250.00 for a gov activation card. When I asked what it looked like (knowing it's a scam) he said "It's a Google play card". First he said Western Union requires $250 for that amount of money. Then said I needed to read him the card info so he could activate the grant. I said you activate grant but Western Union charges it for fee.he said after he activates card Western Union will refund my $250. Now I'm going to toy with them

Well these people are still at it years later. You would think that by now the police would have these people in custody. So I received a phone call from an unknown number that comes up as #18631 (weird number). The woman proceeded to tell me that I had been chosen to receive a free government grant in the amount of 9,800.00. That this was not a loan and didn't need to be paid back. And the reason my name was chosen was because I had never filed for bankruptcy and paid my bills on time. She verified my name and address. Then I was given a reference # JK31182 and also given a phone #315-563-1180 to call the senior representative to double verify and tell me what to do next.I went along with it and when asked for my bank card information, I pulled out a prepaid visa card that had no money on it and I had never used. When I called the number given to me that's when they broke out with it will cost me 200.00 that was refunded with the grant money. All I had to do was go to one of the stores that they listed off to me. Which I chose Wal-Mart. To go in and get a registration card for 200.00. And the money would be sent to my account right away. And the amount would now go from 9,800.00 to 10,000.00 even with reimbursement of the 200.00. When asked if I had the 200.00 to pay right then I told them no and of course the call ended shortly afterwards telling me that there is no time limits for the grant. So she told me to call back as soon as I got the 200.00. I'm very surprised that this is still going on. As alot of arrests need to be made to put these persons behind bars.

I just received a call for a 9,200 dollar Grant and was told to purchase a registration card for$250 first. Called from phone number 518-952-3933

They just called me from 202-922-5761 told me to go to Walmart and purchase a team card for $200 he also gave me a number to call back 202-928-3563 I told him I would but would have to reach me federal trade commission for verification he told me they wouldn't know anything......I told him I receive federal funds for school and why they never charge me for those funds he said it was a trump thing an d he said don't tell anyone at Walmart what I'm doing ! Probably because Walmart would tell me don't do it it's a scam! Losers will do anything to rip someone off! Thank god I'm not that someone!

I just got a call from 202-801-3569. Told me I was eligible for a 9,000 grant. He asked my name, city, and zip code. He told me after his phone call I need to talk to financial advisor add call 518-952-3933 before I go to Walmart and pick up my money. I googled the num and saw this site of others who have gotten the call. I figured it was a scam.

They called me with the same grant story. They told me i was awarded $14,589. They gave me an approval I.D. and grant manager number. They also said they were calling from the health services department and their address was 2201 6th ave seattle washington 98121. All one big scheme!!!! Both representatives had very heavy middle eastern accents and extremely common american names (Kristy Thompson, Jerry Brown) DO NOT GIVE ANY INFORMATION!!!

I have been called just today that I have a been awarded 9,200 from the United States Federal Government Grants Departmnent. I knew they were fake but went along with their speirl. My son was soo mad at me, and believe me we really could use a grant. I got all the way up to the part where they told me to go to walmart to by a government card and call them back with the number. I asked hi what kind of government card are you talking about? He said a visa prepaid card. I told him that is not how a grant works I should be filing out papers and paying a fee for filing these papers, I dont want this ,take me off. I had others tell me i got a school grant for 4,000. Free trips to the bahamas all expenses paid, just tell your friends. All from the same phone number. When I told them I was disabled that number stopped calling . But today was the new o e for 9,200. Why cant our government catcth them?

So today this number # 200-022-2220 was spamming my phone until i decided to answer. i could barely hear and understand this lady told me i won a grant for 9700 from the government. I already knew it was a scam from just the number. Though the fact they know my email my name and where i loved creeped me ouy very much. She then gave me a tracking number and id code so i can call another number #567-244-6011 where the another lady told me i need to go to walgreens buy a government actication card put 250 dollars on it then go to western union give them the card and tracking number i was given also with show my photo ID and i will get my 9700 and my 250 back. She wanted to stay on the phone with me while i travelled to these places. Kept insisting that it was a government recorded line as well. When i told her that she will rot for what she does to people she hung up on me. I laughed so hard.

I almost fell for it someone that I thought I knew msg me telling me got a grant for$25000 but something didn’t smell right so i asked her a few personal questions she kept avoiding them. So I checked into this company and realized they also were scammers. Please check thoroughly before you get scammed

Call from #: ‭+1 (202) 316-6491‬
Washington DC
Called my TX cell # on 10/11/18 at 10:20am CST

Caller was female and sounded perhaps Phillipina? Told me I could pick up my 12K Grant at the nearest Walgreens, CVS or Walmart. Which one was closest to me etc.

Free money sounded too good to be true & funneling money through retail establishments seemed shady. I have friends that work for the government and any money issues are handled officially by letter to your address!

I think the attempt to geo-locate a victim happens via triangulating the nearest retail establishments. Then they use your phone number to dig through pay-for-data sites to get your info. Don’t tell them the nearest stores to you.

I don’t know how else to report this scam because I am not harmed by it (other than annoyance) but I wanted to put my experience down here.

How can I file a complaint with the etc?

If you think you've been a victim of a grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC at

If you think you've been a victim of a grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC at

Just got a call the first person I believe was Asian saying I just want to Grand Prairie $11,000 because I had no criminal record paid my bills on time and never filed bankruptcy they use the Washington number 202 9 to 2 5898 and a call back extension number in person the person name was Kelly Fletcher extension 1124 I was supposed to go to Walmart and pick this money up LOL be aware the scan none of this is true.

I literally just received a call from the phone number 914-295-2438 with an extension to the main Lady of the office of 110 for a personal access identification code KL 9612 they advised me that I had been approved for a government grant of $9,000 wish you would have tremendously changed my life around considering I am a single mother of three children and currently homeless with absolutely no one that will help so I too thought this was God sent and a true blessing even quote-unquote good luck but after they told me that I had to purchase a Google card to register so that it wouldn't be through New York and be through Indiana they then called me back to ask me if I'd done so and I had told them I am currently waiting on a ride to do that they advised me that the Google card will cost $200 and I would not be able to proceed any further with this action until I get the card and pay that amount then 10 to 15 minutes afterwards they would be able to approve the $9,000 placement on to my debit Mastercard or VISA no I feel completely lost once again and these people truly need Jesus I'm very grateful for this site and for everyone's comments I hope you all as well as myself one day truly do have a blessing of such thank you and God bless

They are still trying to get people. I just got the same PITCH today. Lady with a thick accent tells me I have a good standing with the government and I haven’t applied for bankruptcy, paid my taxes and no Criminal record. Which is false! However I said ok. Have me a code DC528 calling from phone number ‭ (958) 742‬ and missing the last 4 digits on my caller I’d on my cell phone. They knew my name and I confirmed my age, but I didn’t give my date of birth. I had to state what I was gonna use the money for that I just won (9,000). Then she has me call 315-220-0154 and the manager tell me I have I can either get it at my bank or Walmart and I chose Walmart. Then he said I need to pay $200 just so I can get a FEDERAL TREASURY REGISTRATION CARD. The a light bulb turned on in my brain and nearly Exploaded. So i said ok.... he said he has to be in the phone with me and also the 200 will be returned to me also. Along with the 9K$ as promised. He explains that the registration card is so the GOV will know who is receiving the grant and so I would not have to pay taxes on for these funds. Has asked how long will it take for me to get to Walkmart. I said 30min. Hahahahah! I then started looking for Scam stories. And here I am! Thanks you very much Everyone!!!!! You saved me 200 and some trouble! Peace and Love


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