FTC sues phone scammers who promised free money

Here are two telemarketing scams with a familiar ring:

In one, a caller says you’re eligible for a grant to pay for home repairs, medical costs, or other personal needs. She asks your age, income, and other questions, saying she needs to determine the amount you can receive. After she gets your information, she says you qualify for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in government or corporate grants. You’ll need to pay a few thousand dollars upfront but, she says, you’ll get the fees back when you get your grant.

In the other, the caller says he represents Amazon and is offering you a website that will bring you thousands of dollars in commissions when people use it to link to Amazon.com and make purchases. The caller says you need to pay fees — ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars — but that you’ll earn your money back, and more, in no time.

What do the scams have in common? They’re a pack of lies. The only people who get money are the people who run the scams.

In a complaint announced today, the FTC says a Phoenix-based telemarketing operation bilked consumers out of millions of dollars with these scams. The complaint named three people and five companies as defendants. At the FTC’s request, a federal court froze the defendants’ assets and put a receiver in charge of the companies, ensuring no one else loses money.

The FTC says the defendants used official-sounding names like Federal Government Grant Assistance Center, US Federal Grant Department, Amazon.com Associates Program, and Amazon Affiliate Program for their scheme. And, the FTC says, they often embellished the grant scheme by posing as government officials. According to the FTC, people who paid did not receive any grants or commissions and the defendants ignored their requests for refunds.

The FTC investigated the case in cooperation with the Phoenix Police Department and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

We have tips for avoiding grant and internet business scams. And remember, if you suspect a fraud, please file a complaint with the FTC.

 

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Just hang up!Don't even say your name....

That doesn't work they just keep calling back and if you block their number(s) they call again with a different number. Do you have another suggestion that might be more effective?????

I have even put my name on the do not call list like you said they keep calling

Been receiving unsolicited phone calls multiple times daily for over 3 months now. Most of them are coming from the east coast and found out that a lot of them are coming from a website: onewayfundingsource            I told them to take me off the list and they just hung up on me. Called back to ask them kindly to remove me and they hung up on me again. There is a lot of complaints for this company online and like others have said, they keep changing their number. So it's impossible to block them. Need Help!!!! It is absolutely ridiculous that no one can do anything. Their website DNS information is hidden so you can't get more information on them. Phone numbers thay call from are 516-730-9972, 516-203-7559, 516-465-2431

There was a guy who called me today from Illinois. The claim was that I had a good credit report and that he saw my credit card history. Supposedly this was a limited to me offer to get 0 interest haha. But he didn't know my name, bank, where I lived or anything else. Number is 217-497-8782

Theyre a bunch of scams. For real. They used a lot of numbers too.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is; so don't think you can get something for nothing. In the end, you will pay big time.

I live in NY and I was scammed out of thousands of dollars promising a grant from the FBI thru facebook. They hacked a friends msg app and contacted me. I am still recovering and still catching up on my bills. The # they texted me from was based out of Little Rock, Arkansas. Please beware of these thieves.

Was it called national Endowment for humanities I sent 550 dollars now they want me to send 2000 and they say they won't bring $50,000 cash to my door with FedEx truck

the same happened to me. i am in ohio. the # was based out. of indiana.my friend is in fla.i dont know how i could have been so stupid. they had a picture of the Neh with IRS. it looked so real.

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