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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.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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November 11, 2019
This happened to me. First it was this friend saying hi and being extra thankful to God for such a great day. Then she asked if I had heard of the new program GGF. I thought she was telling me of a new church program. I replied that I wasn't aware of it. Then I get the info explaining the grant program. .... I have now found out she was hacked and thanks to the information on this site I went through the steps and blocked this fake account. *NOTE The information explaining it had several typos and missed spaces between sentences.
November 12, 2019
Just received a message on Facebook about this same scam.. here is the number the person or bot tried to give me to call Attorney Jones Williams ( think they meant to type James) (202) 753-0704
November 13, 2019
Just a few days ago starting getting messages with messenger from my friend's name and picture he did use. I did call this friend and he told me he was aware of it and he was not behind it. Thank God this person is now blocked and I never opened any address given.
November 18, 2019
I have just received an message on Facebook from a friend. I didn't expect her account to be hacked by a scammer. When the scammer mentioned BCDP I was alerted that it may be a scam I did remember my UNC saying something about a program that helps people in need. Wasn't sure if it was the same thing. Thus I waited for more information. According to my friend it pays you 50,000 dollars and I was given a number to reach Richard White she said to text him I thought that sounded weird what government phone send text messages ??? I texted the number and he said I had to apply and Judy Goldsmith is an benefactor at His program. I asked him to tell me more about this program and as he went on to explain I knew it was a scam when I asked for a link to this program he said the government program was limited to only text than it was verified to be a scam indeed. Facebook acts like nothing can be done about this. I cannot block my friend. My friend doesn't know her Facebook been hacked by a scammer and when I contacted my friend by phone she said it didn't show in her messages and she hasn't gotten anything from me. It was almost like it was covered up. She said she was going to reset password but it didn't help because she was unable too. 830-253- 3048. Facebook was also unable to help her gain access to her account. But she can't make a new account because her email is associated with her old account.
November 24, 2019
Just happened to me. A friends messenger was hacked. They wanted me to call 301-357-8716. These people are good and probably manage to scam a few people. I alway do research first!
December 27, 2020

In reply to by Roo

They’re asking for my personal information but won’t give me any of their information I thought that was kinda d of fishy plus that they’re being pushy I want you to apply apply apply..
January 08, 2020
I was contacted & told the Gradient Funding Program had money for me. Just give them some info & they'll certify your entitlement. Low & behold, I'm certified & eligible for the money. Send them $3,000 & they'll send me $150,000. NOT!
January 11, 2020
I got message from a frnd I hadn't communicated for over a year now,she claimed she got grant of 9,800,I believed her cos she has never said a thing of such b4,she gave me details nd I checked. I blf her but I dnt blf in having or getting money thrgh so very easy ways like that so I went straight on Google to do my findings albeit it's all scam,by d time I went thrgh messenger to chat my frnd,it turned Facebook user,she was definately hacked. Let's be smart enough before giving out our details please.
Don't use your…
January 14, 2020
I was contact(913) 303-1186 for a Grant if I send sephora Cards 500.00 I am disable I was as today waiting for my money but the truck broke down need 1000.00 more to fix it so I get my money my son and daughter in law found this
February 20, 2020
I 've got an old friend that contacted me. The old federal government scam. It was all text I really don't know if it was even him
March 17, 2020
I just got a message on my messenger from a woman who calls herself Agent Bola Glover trying to tell me that I can get money from an organization called Global Green Grant Fund program. I believe that it's a scam and a fraud
Don't use your…
April 20, 2020
How do I find out if a website is a fraud?
May 06, 2020
They are still sending scam messages thru FB messenger. Text him on his number (805) 978-9214 And let him know you heard about the win money that you are ready to claim yours Do that right now and make sure you keep me posted on how it goes okay
May 22, 2020
How do I report? A friend received money so wondering what will happen next? I have our conversation from this place.
Scam alert
May 29, 2020
I just received a fb messenger message from a friend. I thought from the conversation someone may have hacked her account. She claimed she won 30,000.00 as part of a government grant and she said I qualified and Zi should contact Mara Williams at 502-219-3813. Then I should text her back to make sure that the process worked for me. I did not call.
July 24, 2020
This is three times this has happened to me. The first time they times got me because I put my address and they were sending me cash money by UPS, not the postal service along with a tracking number i was supposed to give them when the UPS truck arrived. I thought to myself, "Why would they be delivering cash money to my house?" I then notified them that I was contacting the Better business Bureau, Facebook and anyone else that I could think of and they better not show up at my house. If they did the police would be waiting for them. They deleted all activity off of Facebook. The same thing happened to me 2 more times. BCPD twice and united Nations Dept of Social Affairs
August 21, 2020
I was messaged on Facebook from a 'friend' who said same stuff. He got a 30000$ loan from this Global Grant Fund for bills and wanted me to email them at agentjohnwilsonjr@ . I instantly Googled Global Grant Fund and thats how I stumbled upon this page!! I figured it was a scam anyways but I always check Google first. He mentioned how he only had to pay for clearances fees so j knew that was code for, they want me to send money lol
August 04, 2020
Someone contact me about IDA no pay back send $400 to receive $50.000 send fedex that payment
Christine Smith
August 08, 2020
I was contacted too thru a friend, fishy to have to pay for free money, not doing it either
Don't use your…
August 29, 2020
I was just approached by the better community development program organization and found out who use people that it is a scam
Tig Degner
September 01, 2020
Someone recently contacted me about an item I'm selling on Facebook Marketplace, and her most recent messages were "I'm good and blessed through GGF! How's life treating you?" and "Hope you have heard about Global Grant Fund (GGF)??" Glad I looked it up. I could call her out but for now I'm acting interested to see where this goes.
November 02, 2020
I just received a series of messages on Instagram from an acquaintance asking if I've heard "the news" lately. I said "no" and she told me about the Better Community Development Program (BCDP), "for those who need assistance of paying bills, buying a house, starting a new business, going to school, or even helping raise their children with old and retired people and disables are offered grants." As you can see, lots of awkward grammar. She later said it's a new program with the Federal Government and the World Bank and that she had just received $50,000 "delivered" to her when she applied for a grant that she does not have to pay back. Then she said I could apply too. She then gave me a cell # to call. I decided to chat a while and see how she would answer questions. I told her they were asking me for money and she said I must have texted the wrong #. Then I said they were asking for my bank info and she said "LOL, you kidding." I replied, "No, I'm not" She is not replying any more. It's so obvious my friend's IG account has been hacked; she doesn't talk this way. I've messaged my friend through other platforms to let her know what's going on. Who should I report this to?
November 02, 2020
I was currently contacted by the gradient gives back foundation they told me i should pay 500 an get 50,000 i knew it was a scam was just feeling them out
November 19, 2020
How can we get FACEBOOK to put an end to this!
December 27, 2020

In reply to by Renee

Yes how do we end this!!! These people act like your friend. That’s the sad part. You believe them because they are your fb friend
December 30, 2020
My Facebook account keeps getting temporarily locked by this "agent". I told them numerous times that I am NOT paying a 300 dollar fee! It's so ridiculous. They're not listening to me! All they care about is getting their hands on my money! Luckily, my bank is keeping a sharp eye on my account before it is wiped clean. The person who keeps temporarily locking my Facebook account is from Secaucus, New Jersey, US. I am so frustrated!
February 03, 2021
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Chuck in Florida
February 10, 2021
The scamm is still on going, even today Feb 10th, 2021. FB messenger has hacked a friend I know well and posing as the person tells me of this great program and how the family needs are all met. That they received over $100,000 and don't have to repay it. They are surprised I haven't heard of this program......
Nay Nay 1
March 23, 2021
April 13, 2021
Here's another one of these so-called "agents" with the IDA Grant Program Roger Smith, 628-270-9322
April 27, 2021
Well. I just got a message from a high school friend saying the exact same info that several others have received. After a few questions I realized that something was wrong. Now I'm asking them questions about his family and they can't answer the questions. I might play around with them for a bit.
April 29, 2021
It's 2021 and this scam is still making the rounds. They used my fb friend to set up Instagram and fb messaged me to contact them for a grant. I texted the number before I realized it didn't smell right and have since reported both to FB and the FTC. Thank goodness I could see this right away by Googling! I also let my friend know about it...
May 04, 2021
I just got a message in Facebook Messenger from a friend. It asked me if I was familiar with Gradient. The entire wording was professional, WAY too fancy for my friend. So I asked her is she had sent me anything. She said no. It looks like this has been happening for several years. I've told her to change all her passwords.
Doncynthia't u…
May 11, 2021
I just got a friend request from a friend of a friend on Facebook. She then messaged me on messenger and asked if I had heard the "good news." She said she received a large sum of money from the Gradient Gives Back Foundation. I know it's a scam.
June 05, 2021
I was sent a friend request by someone saying they'd had problems with Facebook messenger, the name and photo was that of my friend. Then was offered a one time deal to receive £100k, this "friend" put me in touch with Special agent Rick Allen Ford who stated I'm due to get winnings of £100k sent by FedEx. He wanted a Google play card for $50 this would activate the winnings! After a long drawn out dialogue and me using some very choice words including scammer. He stated you are now disqualified and we've removed your name from the list. The English grammar used was not of someone who is a native speaker.
June 07, 2021
Same just happened to me. I answered there questions. Stupid me. But I suspected it was a scam when they asked for money. They started a new account from someone I knew.
Pity pati
June 10, 2021
I got a message from a Facebook friend on messenger she explained she received $50,000 from a grant and urged me to call a number immediately so I did and then They asked for a lot of personal information scaring me so I looked it up and this is what I find your helpful website the phone number was 410-863-3091 Mary L Smith was the agent. They said I had to fill out the form immediately because it was time sensitive.
July 28, 2021
swan fish
August 24, 2021
I was just approach by a friend to apply they that I pay a processing fee 750.00 for $70,0000n I said ill pass.
Di P.
August 30, 2021
I got a FB message from a friend saying she got a grant of $200K from the “American Society Grant Funded Programs” that was established to stimulate the economy and help people pay bills, pay for school, etc. She says she got the info from “one of my friends” and got the money delivered by FedEx within 24 hours of paying for home delivery and a “clearance fee.” The “agent” contact she gave me is “Robert James” at 412-903-6382. I did a reverse search on the number - that individual does have that number, but BeenVerified says the rent at that address is $920/month and he works in food service. Yes, I could use a grant to help pay for school, but this isn’t real.
August 31, 2021
I already got hacked. The hacker is still texting me till today asking me to send $700 in the form of gift cards or bitcoin. They completely took over my Facebook account set up two factor authentication, & code generator. They changed my primary email address, phone number and password. I’ve been emailing Facebook to get my account access but no luck there .... Agent Thomas Brown Facebook is what got me and the hacker that’s texting me phone number is (505) 437-0790. Still texting me as I am writing this comment. I just want my Facebook login info.
Den oo1
September 02, 2021
Has any body heard of David Williams smith
September 07, 2021
just recieved an email thru messenger supposedly from my "mother in law" saying she had recieved 100,000 in "free" money from the global grants makers totally "free". and to contact a George Lupton. put george lupton into the search bar and shows his date of death was February of this year. So i sent the loser a response that my mother-in law would not do this and that George Lupton had died in february. and surprise surprise no more response from the low lifes
September 16, 2021
Newest one is agent John billy. Lol.
September 16, 2021
A good friend of mine that I haven't spoken to in a while just told me about this and said she received $200K with no strings attached. I know it was her typing in Messenger because she asked about my dad because we discuss him often. What's going on?
Terrence Smith
September 28, 2021
My credit card and financials Bill I'll have got out of hand but consider this covid I have a kid And I am struggling Pay my bills I need assistance to help with my finance