The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is the company that is responsible for protecting all of the consumers in the nation from deceptive business practices. They have stated that these practices are typically scams.
Many scammers will put ads inside of a newspaper. They will post a toll-free number that claims to give people information. They may use marketing practices that are similar to those of a telemarketer. They may give a fake name such as the Federal Grants Agency. They may ask you some questions and tell you if you have qualified.
Federal agencies do not interact with people in this way. After a person has been informed that they qualify for a grant, the organization will ask for their bank information. They may also ask you to send money for processing fees. They may use different methods to try to scam you. However, regardless of the method that they try to use, you will not see the money again if you send it to the organization. You should not fall for this regardless of the promises that the representative makes.
There are steps that you can take in order to avoid being a victim of a scam. The FTC recommends that you do the following.
1.) You do not share your credit card or bank information. Scammers will do everything that they can to get you to share your information. You don't have to share your personal information with anyone. Unless you know the company that is calling you, you should not give out your information.
2.) You should not pay for a free grant. No authentic company will ask you to pay for something that is supposed to be free. They will not ask you to pay a fee to process the funding. There are resources that are free and open to the public. One of the resources that you can use is grants.gov. You will not have to pay money to get information about grants on this website.
3.) You will need to check the agency's name. Any scammer can come up with an agency that sounds like an official one. You will need to do an internet search and find out if the agency name is a real one.
4.) It is important to remember that scammers can disguise their phone numbers. They can use technology to manipulate the numbers on the phone. The number may say one thing on the caller ID, but it may be coming from any location on the planet.
5.) You will have to be careful about the calls that you accept. You can decrease the number of unsolicited calls that you receive by registering your number with the National Do Not Call Registry. You can do this by visiting www.donotcall.gov. You can also call 1-888-382-1222. There are also apps that you can download on your phone that will block unwanted phone calls. Keep in mind that it may take a while for you to stop receiving calls.
6.) You will need to contact the Federal Trade Commission. If you think that you have been scammed, then the FTC can help you. It does not matter whether you have been scammed over the phone or online, your fraud complaint will be registered. They have an international law enforcement database called the Consumer Sentinal.
You can call 1-877-382-4357. You can also visit ftccomplaintassistant.gov. Furthermore, a good rule of thumb to use is if something sounds like it is too good to be true, then it most likely is.