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Consumer Alert: Watch out for Fake Grant Scams

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Our office has been notified of a scam involving people impersonating state government employees on social media. These scammers will claim to be with a state agency and inform you that you are being awarded a large sum of grant money. To get the money, however, they will say you have to pay a fee up front. Remember, state government officials will never ask you for money or personal information on social media in exchange for payment.

To avoid falling victim to these scammers, follow these tips:

  • Don’t rely on a messenger’s username or profile to determine if they are trustworthy. The online profile might even show the government agency’s symbol or company’s name to make it look real. Scammers can easily make fake profiles to disguise themselves.
  • Look for red flags on online profiles. Verify any addresses or phone numbers listed by checking directly on the agency’s website. If an address or phone number is listed as out of state, it is likely a fake account.
  • Do not send money or divulge personal information to unknown online users, even if they say that they represent the government. If you’re unsure if someone is a legitimate government official, reach out to the government agency directly using a phone number listed on their website.
  • Be skeptical of online accounts claiming you’ve been awarded money or could win something. If you don’t remember entering for a grant award, it’s probably a scam.

If you think you or somebody you know has been the victim of a scam, contact our office’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online.

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