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HHS didn't reach out about free grant money. That was a scammer. Learn more:

Did you get a message from a friend on social media about a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant opportunity? Or from someone saying they were an HHS employee? Well…they weren’t who they said they were. They were a scammer.

This new twist on the age-old government grant scam often goes like this: someone reaches out to you through social media, email, or a chat app and says you qualify for free grant money from HHS. They’ll direct you to a fake HHS website or online chat that seems legitimate — but it’s not. Then they’ll try to get your payment information or other personal details “to process” the grant. If you get a message like this: 

Know that HHS (and other government agencies) won’t get in touch out of the blue about grants. They won’t reach out through social media, call, text, or email you about government grants. Real government grants require an application, and they’re always for a specific purpose. Learn more (for free) at

Don’t pay to get a grant. HHS won’t make you pay to get a grant — or insist that you use cash, a gift card, a wire transfer through a company like Western Union or MoneyGram, or cryptocurrency.

Check for a .gov domain. HHS websites always have .gov in the URL. If you’re directed to an HHS-looking website with .org, .com, or .us, it’s fake — even if it has the HHS logo on it.

Never share your financial or personal information with anyone who contacts you. HHS and other government agencies won’t call, text, message you on social media, or email to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Only scammers do that.

Have you gotten a message or call about a fake HHS grant? Report it to the FTC:

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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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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Elisa Perez
March 17, 2023

I reported this already. Over 2 months ago. My facebook has been hacked and so was my partners. Your organization is late as usual in informing WETHEPEOPLE#

susan w glenn
March 14, 2023

what about the $900 grocery grant? real or scam?

Kathy Stokes
March 15, 2023

We can make this even clearer. The federal government does not grant money to individuals. Individuals receive financial support through certain benefits, but they are not grants. From

The federal government awards grants to organizations including:

State and local governments
Research labs
Law enforcement
Non-profit organizations
The intent of most grants is to fund projects that will benefit specific parts of the population or the community as a whole.

Douglas S. Treado
March 14, 2023

I was contacted via hacks to friends on Facebook. They (!) supposedly alerted me to "free" money available, and once contacted, their FB page was obviously hacked, due to the fact if when I questioned "them" about this "program," I was directed by the hacker to make contact with their representative, etc.
I'm surprised that the FCC was so slow about dealing with this warning, as this has been ongoing nationwide for several years already!!

March 14, 2023

This happened to me several times before I found that it was a scam.

March 15, 2023

This has already happened to me. I sent some information in about a " agentrichardstevenwalls". Have a check that was sent to me and was told to cash it at my banks ATM, when that didn't work I was told to take it thorough the drive . I still have the check and he's still trying to get more money.
I've been keeping him stringing along hoping that you could catch him. He has some of my information and I borrowed a $1000 for gift cards. This has been going on for about 4 months. Please stop them. Ps he's trying for a another $1500 now.

FTC Staff
March 15, 2023

In reply to by SHIRLEYOLLER

You can help law enforcement by reporting this to The information you give goes into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. You can decide how much information to give about yourself.
A scammer might use your personal information to commit identity theft. Watch for signs that someone is mis-using your information. This article tells the warning signs of identity theft: .

March 17, 2023

In reply to by SHIRLEYOLLER

Please Report this to the FTC at the link shown in the FTS Staff's comment! It's easy to do. I send reports about phone calls, text messages, and emails that I know are scams. And this creep needs to be reported. If you lost money, file a report with your police department. You might find that you're not the only one in town getting these calls. Hang up when the scammer calls you; block the phone number(s) he uses. Stay safe and good luck!

Joan Tibbs
April 13, 2023

In reply to by SHIRLEYOLLER

Same thing happening with me with "agentLibbyHaynes" This has been going since February 2023. She also is still trying to get money $2,000.00 out of me by gift card.. Have tried filing scams, fraud etc. but no response!!!

Diane Goguen
April 05, 2023

I've been targeted from all of these scams. I'm still getting targeted they don't stop.

Annetta J. Byrd
April 26, 2023

My cousin said she is getting a free grant from a company that she found on Facebook with name EHRN. She said they are sending her $100.000 cash in the mail. She's mad at me because she said it's Legit and I told her it's a scam. Is it a scam?

David J. Young
May 23, 2023

In reply to by Annetta J. Byrd

A frien d who I haven't seen in over 60 years contacted me on Facebook Messenger and said to contact CDFI
as she qualified for a Government Grant of $150000. She said that it was delivered by FedEx five hours later. She encouraged me to take advantage of this, but I told her it might be a scam and replied that she received the money. I contacted Agent Gloria Thomas who immediately sent me a short questionnaire/application and said I was qualified and do I want to continue. I told her through Messenger that I want to research the offer and messaged my friend and she said there's not an issue and even gave me the contact's name which was the same name of the agent. So I re-contacted the agent and she said to purchase a gift card for $500 and send her a photo of the front and back and she'll start the process. I did that, she received it and told me to purchase another gift card (Target) for $450 to cover shipping and handling. It was then I expressed concern and I told her I "smell a scam" as in my research I discovered that gift cards were a no-no. At that moment I realized I was never going to get my money back of $500. I relayed this info back to my friend and she assured me that she had to pay that up-front as well, so I did it and send the $450 picture of the gift card. The following day I received a message that the $150K would be delivered at 10 AM. When it didn't arrive, I sent another message and received an apology and she said IRS was auditing their activities and I would have to send $1200 to clear the IRS. I wrote back that this was not acceptable and to return the $950 I had sent her. My message came back with an apology from Agent Donald Mega, Director of Transportation Operations...again asking for the $1200. I told him to stick it you know where and he said "Okay." A week later, he messaged me that the IRS fee was reduced to $500 and would I take care of this. I told him to give me an alternate method of payment and he said Zelle through my bank. I went to my bank the next morning and spoke to a VP about how to send some money through Zelle? She asked me why. I told her my story and she was surprised that I fell for it. It's a's a scam and you'll never see your money again and showed me a list of gift card scams and this was one of them. I felt like a fool. I also sent this to the FBI and messaged my so-called friend who has yet to contact me and this happened the second week of May 2023.

May 23, 2023

They were using a .cn email AGENT MIchele eichhorn was the name I was sent to by a scab impersonating my cousin. They were offering me $150,000 fo a payment of shipping fee and taxs of $500. I didn't fall for their scam but waisted a lot of their time before they gave up.

Kelly E.
May 30, 2023

I just received this scam started yesterday posing as a friend I haven't spoke to in a while I knew it wasn't her by the way they talked so I asked Google about any scams that where going around and found this info.
Thank you!

K. Miyano
May 31, 2023

I been scammed £3,900 buying gift cards , and they're using DHHS website all my savings is gone i'm crying till now.