I’ve been telling everyone I know this so they don’t fall for this. I thought I would share this on here so hopefully no one else falls for it.
I’ve been getting calls from numbers like 874-551-23 and 1-999-99 from people that sounded like they were from the Middle East. I understand that English isn’t everyone’s first language but they definitely didn’t sound like worked from “The United Grant Department” in Washington, DC (a department that probably doesn’t even exist). I usually called it a scam, told the person (Frank, Joe, Paul) to stop calling me, and hung up but the most recent one I decided to just go with it to see how ridiculous it would get. (I’m an unemployed broke college graduate that lives in the middle of the woods, got to get my kicks somewhere, right?)
So I got my Dad and we listened to Jack Thompson (who was extremely hard to understand and got very upset that we couldn’t understand him) as he told us that I had qualified for a $9,000 grant from the United States Government since I paid all my taxes and hadn’t filed for bankruptcy. He didn’t even care as I tried to tell him that I didn’t pay taxes as I didn’t have a job. “Jack” then gave me a confirmation number and a telephone number to talk to his Supervisor “Steve” since I wasn’t going to give them my bank account number or any credit card numbers. The phone number I was given was (206) 855-6792. My dad told me to call him but not to give him any personal information like bank info or my social security number.
Steve was another person who was not very fluent in English and told me that like Jack, he was calling from Washington, DC. Steve told me that if I wanted my grant money, I would have to go to a local Western Union and buy a Green Dot Debit Card and load $250 and then call him back with the card information. I was reluctant and thought that this was a little odd but after he kept insisting, I promised to call him back after I talked to my father.
More Info on Green Dot Card Scams
An Article from the Federal Trade Commission
Then, I did some research and found out that this is a very popular scam. Scammers from other countries will use fake phone numbers (usually numbers that in the US only have 4-7 digit numbers when most numbers have around 9 including area codes). Others you can call back, like Steve’s. I did a reverese look up on his number and found that the number WAS from Washington…Washington STATE!!! The scammers will have you purchase Green Dot cards so they can take the money that you have loaded onto it and transfer it to their accounts. People fall for this thinking that it’s safer than giving out bank accounts or credit card numbers but you are still being scammed!
I lost my temper and called Steve back. I told him that I wasn’t born yesterday and I knew that he was scamming me. When I asked him where he was REALLY calling from, he gave an address 200 Independence Drive in Washington DC. This is a known address given during calls about fake government scams. I told him to never call me again and hung up. Well, he kept calling me and calling me and I refused to answer the phone. Finally, my Dad stepped in and answered the phone. He told Steve that if he called me again, he would personally come to Washington to kick his…you know. I haven’t heard from him since.
More Info on Fake US Gov Grants
I hope that no one else falls for this. A lot of people that are targeted are people like me and my friends: people that are either recent graduates from college, current college students, or people that are just down on their luck. They find your phone numbers (I never give my personal cell phone number out and that’s how they were contacting me), your names, and even get a hold of your addresses. Please, I don’t care if anyone reblogs this or not. I’m not putting this on here for popularity for my blog. But please, spread the word and stop these people.
Thanks for reading.