Federal grant scam makes rounds in TN Valley - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Federal grant scam makes rounds in TN Valley

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Fraudsters are wooing people with the promise of grant money - but at a price. (Source: MGN Online) Fraudsters are wooing people with the promise of grant money - but at a price. (Source: MGN Online)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Scammers claiming to be from the U.S. government are targeting people in the Tennessee Valley. The Better Business Bureau said it is a scheme you need to look out for.

The so-called "government officials" are offering money in the form of a federal grant. One man said he was offered nearly $10,000. But, as with many other scams, there was a catch.

In this case, the catch involves offering up some of your own money. Sometimes, BBB officials said, scammers will say you must pay up to $400 for the application before the grant money can be processed.

Scammers are also getting more creative in their attempts. Caller ID numbers are being "spoofed" so that the number on display is that of an actual government number.

"Unfortunately, a lot of people tell us this is a hard lesson to learn," said Michele Mason of the BBB. "They are losing money at a point where they thought they were going to get much-needed money. Even though they haven't applied for it, when someone contacts you, if you are in need of money, you are the most likely person that is going to go ahead and pay that fee."

The BBB said if you have truly been selected for a grant, you will first receive a letter in the mail, with an agency name you can recognize and verify.

Click here for more tips from the BBB.

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