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Video: Beware of "Free Money From the Government"

Posted on 09/13/18 by Anai Ibarra, AARP California

The federal government grant scam has been around for years. But now, scammers are finding targets through social media. The informative video below, the second in our latest series showcasing the most common scams, tells you just what to look for to avoid becoming a government grant scammer’s next victim. Please share this important clip with your friends and family, so they too know what to look for to avoid being victimized by fraud. 

Government Scams

How It Works:

  • You see posts from people on Facebook claiming they have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars in a grant from the federal government, and that you could be eligible, too.
  • You call the listed phone number, give some personal information, and  are told you qualify—all you have to do is send a money order or provide your bank account information to cover processing fees.
  • You never get the grant.

What You Should Know:

  • Government grant applications and information about them are free.
  • The “Federal Grants Administration” – the agency the scammers say they work for – does not exist.
  • If you didn’t apply for a federal government grant, there is no way you would receive one. If you’re offered a grant you know nothing about, it’s probably a scam.

What You Should Do:

  • Never pay money for a “free” government grant.
  • If you think you may be a victim of a government grant scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at or 1-877-382-4357.

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family.

P.S. Spotted a scam?  Tell us about it.  Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state.  You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.

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