Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCAMScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. WARNING: Beware of “Free Money from the Government”

The federal government grant scamGovernment Grant Scam Scammers claim that you are eligible for a government grant and offer to forward it to your checking account as soon as you give them your account information, which they sell or use to steal your money. The scammer may spoof the number of the government agency they claim to be representing. has been around for years.

But now, scammers are finding targets through social media.

How It Works:

  • You see posts from people on Facebook claiming they have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars in a grant from the federal government, and that you could be eligible, too.
  • You call the listed phone number, give some personal information, and are told you qualify—all you have to do is send a money order or provide your bank account information to cover processing fees.
  • You never get the grant.

What You Should Know:

  • Government grant applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. and information about them are free.
  • The “Federal Grants Administration” – the agency the scammers say they work for – does not exist.
  • If you didn’t apply for a federal government grant, there is no way you would receive one. If you’re offered a grant you know nothing about, it’s probably a scam.• If you didn’t apply for a federal government grant, there is no way you would receive one. If you’re offered a grant you know nothing about, it’s probably a scam.

What You Should Do:

When it comes to fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim., vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost..

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Spotted a scam? Tell us about it.

Portions reprinted from the AARP with permission.
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