Ask Andy: "Free" government grant offers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported By Andy Wise

Ask Andy: "Free" government grant offers

A lot of you have e-mailed me about government grants, but you're trying to get one by answering an ad or a phone call that offers a free government grant.

Wrong approach.  Here's why.

Betsy Lordan of the Federal Trade Commission says there are strings attached to most of those offers.  She says they will either require a "processing fee" or make you buy a list of grant-making agencies.  You can get a list of those agencies for free at any public library!

Lordan says those offers will sometimes ask for your bank account number or your credit card number.  Again, that's not free -- and worst case scenario, that may be an attempt to steal your identity.

The FTC also has put out a warning that some of the telemarketing offers for these "free" grants are coming from scam artists who are using caller ID "spoofing" technology to make it look as if they are calling from a government building in Washington, D.C.  They're actually calling from some boiler room in Nowhere, America.

Lordan and her FTC colleagues say the only official portal to research federal grants is www.grants.gov.  Scholarships, student loans, small business start-up assistance -- you can research every legitimate grant right on that single site.  You don't need some ad, phone call or commercial.  Just that site.

Good luck ...and get a real grant!

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