A government program that pays your bills?

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Have you heard about a government program that will pay your monthly bills for an up-front payment or processing fee? Here’s a short version of the rest of this post: It’s a scam. Don’t do it.

We’ve heard that this scam is happening in some African-American church communities: people approach church-goers with this so-called deal. And, because it comes up in church, the scam might seem like it could be legit. But take it from me – and the FTC: there is no federal program that pays your monthly bills in exchange for payment of any kind.

What really happens if you pay these scammers? They look real for a minute because they “pay your bills” electronically – but then they cancel the payment. You think your bill is paid, but you’re stuck with not only the original bill, but also a late fee because your payment wasn’t actually processed. And now the scammers have your bank or credit information. Doesn’t sound like much of a deal at all.

If you need help paying bills, or know someone who does, there are some legitimate government sites that can connect you with programs that help with things like medical bills and energy services for people who are eligible. But they won’t ask you to pay them. Also check out how to make a budget or find a credit counselor who can help you manage your money.

Tagged with: debt, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Yes, I received a communication like this. Someone hacked into a friend's MESSAGE function on Facebook, without her knowing it. The person used her name on the message function and contacted me about this "government program." I knew it was a scam so I asked for the information. I was told to call "James Williams" at 303-578-7765. Perhaps you can call this number and find out who it is. I did not call, I just wanted to get this information so I could report i t. Thank you.

They didn't hack into her Message function on Facebook. They started a new account using her name and picture and sent you a friend request possibly telling you that their old account got hacked and to delete it or some other such reason for the new account. Sometimes they don't give reason,just send out friend requests to people already on their friends list.

Be watchful!

yes i have received calls texts and emails about this thank you f.t.c. for informing us that this company is not a legit business i almost responded to this mess again thank you

I know a man in Houston Texas that is targeting people. His name is Marlon Wortham.

GREAT POST

I'm not a cyber Bully I'm a 100% Disabled Veteran. But I can call Yahoo.com a cyberbully definite.

Got call from 206.629.6080 (Shoreline, WA) at 11:07 EST today that sounds like this. I told them I would report them.

I was just called tonight from a similar number (206) 472-6031 (Robert Cale) in Washington State. They said I was getting a Federal grant for $9200 and needed to pay $200 first before I could get the money from moneyogram. Said the $200 was to register my name with the FTC first before they could release the money.

I've received "many" of these identical to yours darrell. The latest targeted my mom from a number #727-213-5733, claiming to be ayden hayes. said when she got the 250.00 iTunes gift card the $8,500.00 Federal Grant would be sent to her "while he was on the phone with her.. YEA OKAY... People as soon as You tell the scammer the numbers on the card, Your simply out $250.00... If the gov., wants to give you some money, they dont need any from YOU to start...

same here the number was 206-596-0886 hindu woman said something similar. I asked if she was sure that she was calling from Washington DC not from India she became rude and told me to go home.

It happend to me on march 24 ,2017 same thing pay up 200 and my money was released but they make me pay 700 $ more when the ask me to pay up 1200$ i stop i knew i was scam

I just got a call just like this. It was from Ohio 513-878-0000. They gave me a conformation number and a phone number 513-878-0464. I called the original number. It was a security guard at a retirement living community.

I just received the same call today. The phone numbers and names were different. +1 (202) 335-6812 Gabby and then to call and activate the grant was 651-203-5406. However they wanted me to go to Walmart and purchase a 600 gift card so I could be registered with the FTC. I asked him when did the US government start dealing with Walmart and he hung up. This is two days they haves called me. I block the numbers but they keep calling on other numbers.

Please help us by reporting this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

Thank you for these alerts. I post them on my Face Book Page in hope I can save someone loss, pain and grief! May God Bless You for this shared information!

"If it seems too good to be true...."

Great news!

Some Area Agencies on Aging have volunteer money management programs to seniors who need help managing their checkbooks.

Anyone who says that you have to pay an upfront fee is clearly a scam, because most legit businesses or programs won't tell you to pay until after should they be charging for anything.

Thank you for your post, I have scammers

0bama is no longer in office , Just maybe it may stop

Thank you for the heads up. Yes, I just had another scam tried on me just this morning saying I could get money from the "Global Grant Fund", - also watch out for this one people. I knew straight away and it backfired on her pretty quickly. For those of you who are on facebook, DO NOT send a friend request to or accept a friend request from JUDITH HELEN HERD, she is another SCAMMER. With scams, they never know how to spell or use grammar properly - these are a dead giveaway, and also, if they ask for money for a "clearance" or "transfer" fee, it is a scam. Hope this helps.

Make the Phone Companies responsible..!! They make money from these scammers by selling them services..!!

I agree. Big phone companies should either aid a consumer complaint until the issue is resolved, or be held financially accountable. I traced a scammer online only to discover 147 other folks complained to the same phone company about the same number. These crooks knew my name and number, so these days, that's all you need. The phone company can stop the number (at the least), from being used & if they don't comply after 147 complaints, I think it should than become their problem as well. After all, by not stopping the number from being used, than they are actually "ALLOWING FOR THE CONTINUED CRIMES THAT THIS PERSON(S) IS COMMITTING"! They have legal tea s on standby, but they only use them for big situations while the individual consumer (even if they are not a direct customer), suffers, sometimes tremendously because the phone company refuses to help!

I just received a called telling me that I was selected to received a grant of $9,200 related with the ARRA of 2009 thatI should go to a western union and pay 200 to claim the grant really!!!!

I got the same one, same day on Thursday. So annoying I was busy with my kids. Waste of time!!

I just received a call stating that I was pre-quailfied to reveive a $10,000.00 gov grant because my credit was good and no late payments. I told the caller it sounded like a scam and they hung up.

I am victimized by a big scammer by fake email from one of the dating site. A woman named Monica Lin Brown with his boyfriend Christopher Hutchinson Who worked for UN sent me an amazing story to invest in my home but they have stolen 8000 USD WHICH they received the money with cooperation of Western Union staff in New Delhi.Please help me if any body can refund my money.

Do the scammers offer to pay monthly bills for a short-term or long-term?

This was just sent to me via FB messenger (the account was hacked): Lol....i didn't beleive it untill my money was brought to my place (325) 307-2141 Here text them now,tell them you are ready to claim your grant am sure the will attend to you All i was asked to do was to fill their form and pay $980 for the delivery

I got the impression after I pay a fee and give them my checking account number & utility account number, they will pay my bill with my money on the due date.

I received facebook inbox message asking have I heard of government grant for people who need help financially or eith bills. Then she gives Facebook page to go to. And a phone number to a delivery agent. You send message to say you want to claim your money. You are asked to fill out form. Then a list is sent with amount of money you want along with the delivery/shipping fees. Ex: $900 fee for $40,000. The fees go up with the amount you want. The highest $8000 fee for $1,000,000. I'm pretty sure this is a scam. They have a Facebook page.

is the phone number 702 514-9524 I think this is who you are talking about.

I had a text from 703-574-7358 saying Congratulation. Joe Howard Howard fromm the Federal Government Support Program in conjuction with the powerball lotte gotten my money ... am I ready to claim my winning money
I had to fill out this form first, send them money and wait for 7 hours for them to send me my money.

A FRIEND OF MINE TOM CONWAY ON FACEBOOK CHAT INFORMED ME OF A GOVERNMENT GRANT THAT HE RECEIVED. AND, OF COURSE, HE GAVE ME THE NUMBER TO TEXT A PERSON NAMED ..MARIAN COOK ANNETTE AT (202-852-3077) I QUALIFIED FOR THE GRANT. AFTER GIVING MY INFORMATION NAME, ADDRESS, BIRTHDAY, EMAIL, OWN MY HOME AND SALARY.

SHE SAID I HAD TO SEND A MONEYGRAM $1200 TO THIS ADDRESS TANJRA CHANEL ROSS AT 1410 N. MORRIS BLOOMINGTON ILL. 60701..AFTER A WHILE SHE CAME BACK AND I NEEDED TO SEND $300 MORE BY WESTERN UNION. THAT'S WHEN I CALLED MY FRIEND TOM HE DID'NT ANSWER BUT SOMEONE WITH AN ASCENT ANSWERED.

If you used Western Union to send money to a scammer, you can report it to Western Union’s complaint department at 1-800-448-1492 or online.

Make a note of the date you filed the complaint with Western Union. Be sure to keep any documents you have about the scam and the money transfer.

I just received a call requesting 260.00 western union. They said they worked for the gov. And I would receive 14,000 dollars from the federal stimulus 2009 pact. Careful. He went by the name Jason smith his phone# 1-888-882-9624 x3021

I just received a call from someone telling me they were calling from the US Govt and that I had been one of the few 1700 selected to receive a $7000 grant to use for whatever I wanted. I immediately told her it was a scam and she reassured me it wasn't. She then proceeded to give me a Grant approval # of AL005 and told me that I needed to call her Senior Accountant directly at 315-888-3020 and his name was Gary Quinn. I explained that I did not have long distance on my phone so I could not call him. She asked me to hold and then came back on the line and said she was going to transfer me to Gary. Gary said I was chosen because I was never late with my student loan payments and I had no criminal background. I asked him to explain what I needed to do. He instructed me to go to the nearest money gram store and provide them with my ID, a cell phone number and then told me I would have to pay a fee of $250 that was "refundable". As soon as he said I had to pay $250 I interrupted him and said, "hold on, why am I having to pay for something that I'm supposedly getting for free. you told me it was free money, so why do I have to pay for it? I did not wait on a response and I immediately disconnected the call.

I just received a call from a person stating she worked for the government and that I had been randomly selected to receive $7000 grant to use on anything I wanted. She provided a Grant approval number and then said I needed to call her Senior Accountant, Gary Quinn at 315-888-3020. I explained that I did not have long distance capabilities so she placed me on hold, then came back on the line and transferred me to Gary. He told me I needed to go to the nearest Money Gram store and provide the Grant approval # along with my ID, a cell phone number and pay a refundable $250 fee in order for them to release the $7000. I immediately disconnected the call.

They said Federal Govenment with me. I didn't have any questions to answer etc. but I turned the info should I have ??? Told her I was reporting her to the FTC and repeated the number back.
Watch out for: 254-245-1992

Don't pickup if the number is not a number you know . Let the call go to voice mail . Buy a phone that has voice mail and call blocking .

received a call from 202-568-5894 Washington DC Dept of Grants and I received a grant gift of 9000 and to do what i would like. He had an indian eastern Indian voice and hung up after I asked him a few questions.. like how did I?

Just had something similar to this today 2017-1-2. His name is Larryz Battenz. He messages you saying you won a government grant for $50,000. I am not stupid when it comes to scammers. He wants you to pay $1,000 to receive it via Fed Ex. Do not fall for this people.. Thank you for your time.

I have just received an email from a friend who told me about a grant from the IMF? to pay bills for retired people. I clicked on the site:   .facebook. com/ onlineagentaccess  / and it looks like a real facebook page. Stupidly, I sent them personal info but not a ssa # or financial info. Just my mother's name, my address, age, dob, phone, my full name. And i got into an argument with the "agent" about it being a scam, and I accused my fake FB friend of not being the real friend. The fake friend argued with me too. Am I in danger of identity theft?

It's good that you didn't share your Social Security number or financial information, but when you give any personal information to a scam site, there's a risk that a scammer will get it and use it.

Here are some warning signs of identity theft. If these things happen to you, go to IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and get a personal recovery plan.

Ms. Small: thank you for the helpful response to my question.

About 3 weeks ago, I got a call from someone stating that I had missed a "jury duty" something, and that if I did not pay a fine IMMEDIATELY that the police would come to my house and arrest me. I told them to come and get me then. Click...dial tone. To funny.

I'd like to report a government grant scam. The Caller states that you've been selected randomly from a recent survey of those hard working americans who pay their bills on time, have no criminal record, and no bankruptcy history. They then give you an amount you'll be receiving ($8,500), an ID# and lastly a phone # to call and speak with their management department. You are then supposed to call and give your bank or credit card information in order for them to wire or direct deposit the grant money for you. DO NOT give any information . . . EVER.
numbers they are calling from include but are not limited to:
654347656, 949-201-2330, 469-646-4425, 779-252-0013, 904-606-8013, 614-473-4037, 610-296-4343, 757-410-9406, 361-317-3253, 321-622-3099, 786-204-4358, 502-519-3019

Just got a phone call today from one. They called my wife, trying to pull this one. She gave me the phone and I requested that they identify themselves and the government entity they work for. They refused and I immediately hung up. The number came across as a Washington DC number - (202)564-8586. I reverse traced the number and it came up as a Verizon Wireless landline number coming from someplace on Vermont St NW.

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