(WOIO) - An Ohio woman is out $7,000 after she was scammed by a phony grant offer over the weekend. She called the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to report the scam on Monday.
The single mom of two received a phone call from a man claiming to be Max Stevens. He told her that she was picked to get a $10,000 government grant to help single moms going back to school. He said her money would be available through Western Union that night, if she paid a fee.
Stevens told her that she needed to pay the fee using a Green Dot money card. She paid that fee and nine others totaling $7,000 in order to get the grant. Stevens told her she would get all that money back, plus the grant.
In the end, the woman got nothing. In fact, they are still calling her, saying if she doesn't send the rest of the fees, she will never get the opportunity to get a grant or see her Social Security money.
"That was money from my retirement account," she told BBB. "I should have known better but he (the caller) had an answer for everything. I just hope my experience can help someone else from being scammed."
The calls came from (412) 927-4779, and there are some comments online from others who had received similar calls.
You should know the government doesn't award grants by the phone, and you would not have to pay up front to get anything. Also, you have to apply for a government grant in order to qualify for one.
Also, the government doesn't contact people by phone for matters like this. If you do get a call, just hang up. Don't give the scammers anything to use.
Never give out your personal information, account numbers, or Social Security number to anyone you don't know, especially unsolicited calls.
You can always check with the BBB to inquire about a charity or business before spending your money.