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Scams . . . July 23, 2014

dollar-signIf someone calls you, no matter how legitimate it may sound … and offers you money from an unexpected source, beware!

Last week my wife Alicia received a call from the “Grants Department” of the United States Government in Washington, D. C. Why were they calling? Simply because she was a good citizen, paid her bills and taxes on time and was current on our mortgage, the government was awarding her a grant of $6,000.00 to use as she chose.  

From doing an Internet search, I found that the caller often asks for a credit card or bank account number so they can make a direct deposit into your account. However, this caller asked her to write down a Washington, D. C. telephone number (Area Code 202) and call it immediately to provide instructions as to where the monies should be sent.

At this point, the first thing to remember is what King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14:15 . . .

The simple believe anything,     

but the prudent give thought to their steps.

Since I was on the premises working in my home office, Alicia called for me to pick up the phone and listen as the caller repeated the grand offer coming from Uncle Sam and what she needed to do to receive it. Right off, my mind said, “this is fishy.” So, while continuing to listen, I did a search for “Grants Department.” Confirming my thoughts, I said into the phone loud and clear, “Alicia, hang up … this is a scam!”

Thinking back, Alicia realized that the only personal information the caller actually stated was what she had told him, her first name and the town we live in.

As the old adage goes … “if it sounds to good to be true, it most likely is.” In doing further research, I found that this Grants Department scam has been going on for some time now. However, the newest approach is not to ask for credit card or bank information. Instead, when you call the telephone number, you are instructed to go to a Western Union location (yes, they still exist) and send a “processing fee” of something like $250.00 to a particular address so that your government can get “your money” on the way to you.

So … if and when you receive a call such as this out of the blue … remember Proverbs 14:15!                                                                              Marlin

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