Did an anonymous caller just offer you a government grant? Are you sure that the proposal is completely legitimate?
If the answer to that question is a no then it is better to hang up on the spot. Or else you’ll be misled into believing that financial assistance is on the way. When in reality, the caller is after your money.
Now, most US citizens have a fair idea of what government grants are and what they entail. That is why we see many of them applying for financial aid from the higher-ups of the United States. However, the sad part is that many of these wishful applicants get scammed annually. This leads to financial loss and stolen identities.
Do you want to know how to dodge this bullet? We’d be happy to help. Here are 6 ways to avoid government grant scams:
1. Detect their White Lies
Did you apply for a grant?
If the answer is no, then it is highly unlikely that the government is willing to offer you a grant like a free raffle ticket. You see, the government doesn’t offer grants without prior contact. Grants are given after a pretty strict and lengthy protocol that is initiated with your application.
What if you did apply for a grant? Then you must consider the facts below to ensure that the call is legitimate.
2. Find the Proof in the Paper
The fact of the matter is that legitimate grants are rarely authorized over the phone. Neither will you be getting random emails/text messages notifying you of your grant approval. One way to detect foul play in these cases is by asking for tangible evidence. This means that they should provide the proposal in writing rather than delivering it via a phone call.
In most cases, the scammer will stop contacting you after this request.
3. Verify Their Sources
Who sanctioned this grant?
One must make sure that the grant agency ‘authorizing’ your application is legitimate. That is why it is wiser to do your research before you apply/accept a government-based grant. You must know that offices like ‘Federal Grants Administration’ and ‘Government Grant Funds’ do not exist. So don’t be fooled by names and credentials that sound authentic.
4. Never Share Your Personal Details
The scammer may have tricked you into believing that they come from a legit agency. Yet, you must avoid providing them with any additional details (e.g. personal security numbers, bank account details, residential address).
The rule of thumb in such scenarios is to never ever provide your personal details to the caller. The smart way to tackle these calls is by letting them do the talking. You are in no way responsible for filling in gaps for the information they don’t have. That is because they probably don’t know anything about you besides your name and phone number. On the other hand, federal agencies almost always have your details with them.
5. Be Wary of Additional Payments
Is the grant giver asking for money?
Think of this as the biggest red flag in your correspondence. Grant applications are free of cost and they rarely come with strings attached. That is because they are sourced by federal and public funds created for these purposes. Plus, logically speaking why would the government ask you to pay for your own financial aid?
6. The Devil in the Details
Trust us, recognizing fact from fiction is pretty easy once you know where to look. This is why it is wiser to learn all there is to know about government grants. We are sure that your inquisitive questions and sound knowledge about the procedure will help you to unravel the scammer’s lies in no time. Plus, another fact that helps detect a rip-off is this, “Federal grants are not issued for personal use, but are intended for institutions and non-profits to carry out projects with a public purpose”.
The Bottom Line
We know that getting a call for a government grant approval is like a dream come true. But the truth is that this expectation makes you vulnerable to cheating con artists. That is why the best way to avoid government grant scams is by using logic to verify the ‘generous’ source.
Need some advice? Approved Advisor is always ready to assist you in grant-related matters.