Don't Get Fooled by Grant Scams

Stay informed about fraudulent activity related to federal grants.

Scam Alert from the Federal Service Desk

June 3, 2015 - The Federal Service Desk (FSD) has recently been receiving claims from the public that CFDA agents have contacted them claiming that in order for the recipient to claim federal grant money they must first send the CFDA agent personal information or money.

Although the CFDA agent claims to be with the Community for Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) or a similarly named organization, and not the federally-run Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), they do represent themselves as agents of CFDA.

CFDA does not use social media or direct phone contact to solicit, review, or make awards.

If you hear of anyone being contacted in this way, please advise them to pass all information to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) (www.ic3.gov) and their local law enforcement authorities.

Read more about this alert on the Federal Service Desk website.


Scam Alert from the Better Business Bureau

May 22, 2014 - Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is warning the public about grant scams. Recently BBB received a report from a consumer who stated they were contacted by The Washington D.C. Grant Department about being approved for a $7,000 grant. Contacts like this are not uncommon and such notices are usually accompanied by requests to pay processing fees. BBB reminds people that federal grants are not issued for personal use, but are intended for institutions and non-profits to carry out projects with a public purpose.

"This is a scam that regrettably never goes out of vogue," said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. "And the people who carry it out are good at what they do; they know what to say and how to say it, which is why everyone needs to be careful."

Usually these grant "notifications" come via the phone, but people may also receive them through mail and email. These notices usually claim to be from the Federal Grants Administration or some other phony - though official-sounding - agency. Individuals who receive them are told they're either eligible for or have been awarded a government grant.

Read more of the BBB alert:  http://www.bbb.org/minnesota/news-events/news-releases/2014/grant-scams-promise-relief-lead-to-more-headaches/  Click to View Exit Disclaimer


Scam Alert from the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR)

February 5, 2014 - Over the past few months, the Council on Financial Assistance Reform (COFAR) has received inquiries and complaints from persons targeted by a fraudulent grants scheme.

According to reports, the scam artist claims to represent the COFAR when contacting the individual. Victims are told they have been selected to receive a government grant ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. In order to receive the grant money, the representative explains a "processing fee" ranging between $150 and $700 must be paid and asks individuals for bank account information.

The COFAR is not a grant making organization. The COFAR will never request banking information, social security numbers or other personally identifiable information to facilitate the issuance of a "grant".  Grants are not benefits or entitlements. A federal grant is an award of financial assistance from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States.   

If you think you may have been a victim of a government grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC online, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Click here for more information: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0113-government-grant-scams

Report Fraud


If you think you may have been a victim of a government grant scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.

You can also report grant-related scam attempts to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477.