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 grants.gov.
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: ReportFraud.ftc.gov
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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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#
what about the $900 grocery grant? real or scam?
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 USA.gov:
The federal government awards grants to organizations including:
State and local governments
The intent of most grants is to fund projects that will benefit specific parts of the population or the community as a whole.
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!!
This happened to me several times before I found that it was a scam.
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.
In reply to This has already happened to… by SHIRLEYOLLER
You can help law enforcement by reporting this to www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov. 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: www.identitytheft.gov/#/Warning-Signs-of-Identity-Theft .
In reply to This has already happened 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!
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