ADAMS COUNTY, Miss (WJTV) – Officials in the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said they’ve received many complaints about a scam on Facebook.
They said a person is claiming to be a Federal Agent through a new Government Assistance Program
called “Benefits and Financial Assistance.”
The scammer claims this a government and private grant foundation and gives away billions of free
money every year to help those on SSI, retirement and those that do not make a lot.
Victims are asked to provide the fake agent with personal information, including SSN, address, bank
information, phone number, retired status, and other personal information. In return, the scammer sends a photo of a card with the title “Benefits & Financial Assistance Government” and a fake Driver’s License to give the impression this is a legitimate request.
The scammer asks his victims to send payment through to Bitcoin and cash.
Here are some other ways that government grant scammers could try to trick you:
- Scammers reach you in lots of ways. They put ads online for (fake) government grants. Or they might call you using a fake number that shows up on your caller ID so it looks like they’re calling from a federal or state government agency. Some send texts, emails, or messages on social media saying you might qualify for free money from the government.
- Scammers make big promises. They might say you can get free money or a grant to pay for education, home repairs, home business expenses, household bills, or other personal needs.
- Scammers try to look official. Besides faking their phone number, scammers will pretend they’re with a real government agency like the Social Security Administration. Or, they’ll make up an official-sounding name of a government agency, like the Federal Grants Administration, which doesn’t exist.
- Scammers ask you for information or money. Government grant scammers might start by asking for personal information, like your Social Security number, to see if you “qualify” for the grant (you will). Then they’ll ask for your bank account information — maybe to deposit “grant money” into your account or to pay up-front fees. Or they’ll ask you to pay those fees with a gift card, cash reload card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. That’s always a scam. Read this Government Imposters fotonovela to see how it happens.
- Scammers try to be convincing. They might even promise a refund if you aren’t satisfied. But that’s a lie. Once you give your bank account information, or pay fees, your money will disappear. And, you’ll never see the grant they promise.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office asks everyone to be cautious when providing personal information to anyone. If there is any doubt, contact law enforcement or the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.