7 On Your Side:Grant Offer Warning - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

3/20/06-Smith County

7 On Your Side:Grant Offer Warning

Rita Tryon and her husband own their own construction company. She learned their business qualified for a grant when she received a call from a company calling themselves National Choice Grant. 
  "There would be a $59.99 charge for a processing fee for them to send me paperwork to fill out and they said I was guaranteed it," says Rita. That was just the beginning. The warning signs of a scam became clear when the conversation got more personal. "He gave me the routing number and he gave me my account number and then he asked for a check number," cries Rita. 
  She did not give him a check number, she did one better. She asked for the operator's specific information including an address and phone number to verify their validity and passed the info along to us. 7 On Your Side used multiple search engines and found that the address Rita was given,  
1900 Howard Branch Road, does not exist in Washington, D.C.  The zip code she was told, 32792, is in Winter Park, Florida. The phone number connects you Washington alright, Washington, Kansas! It's the number to a bank there, where the Executive VP told us their bank has nothing to do with National Choice Grant. 
  Rita still put a freeze on her account and eventually ended up closing it altogether. "Of course I had to order new checks, put an rush 2-day delivery on them so now we've spent more than $80.00 just to get checks," says Rita. It's a small price to pay though considering the years of hard work to build their company could have disappeared in one transaction.
  We also went to this company's website which takes you to other search engines and ads begin popping up after clicking on various links on its site.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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