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

8/13/07-Gilmer

7 On Your Side: Government Grant Scam

"These scams need to be stopped and I think you guys are doing a good job putting the word out and letting us know," says Sheila Reid from her living room.

For her and her husband, Royce, it was supposed to be a phone call that would change their lives.

But that was the case for the person on the other end of the phone line who told them they qualified $4,500 grant.

"They needed our bank info for a $300+ processing fee," says Sheila.  Royce adds,"She asked for our routing number and our account information, we said why do you need this information."

The caller claimed to be from American Standard Financial, telling the couple they qualified for this grant they never even signed up for!

"We tried to keep them on long enough to get some information even a name, we couldn't even get a name," says Royce.

"She said 'Well we understand you wanting to check us out and everything because of all the scams going around. But I guarantee you this is no scam'" says Sheila recalling her conversation with the operator.

Or is it? Consumers at ripoffreport.com describe similar conversationS with this company, where a payment was required up front to receive the grant.

One person said they fell for it paying the fee, and months have passed with no grant money to show for it.

"If somebody had access to our account and took everything in our account then you know, we'd be down to nothing and we would be devastated," says Sheila.

The Reids trusted their instincts and never gave the telemarketer their account information. The basic rule of thumb that assured they wouldn't be taken for grant-ed.

Here's some more advice to avoid getting scammed by these bogus grant offers: of course, we've said it before and we'll say it again, do *not give out your bank account information.

Also you shouldn't have to "pay" for a "free" government grant...Essentially that doesn't make it free.

Finally, the phone numbers these scammers call from can be deceiving. There's technology that can disguise the number to look like they're calling from one area code, when they could be calling from anywhere in the world.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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