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Grant and loan

Scam medium:

  • Internet

Targeting:

  • Businesses

Business grants and loans

Scammers use websites that look like official government sites to attract people looking for small- and medium-sized business financing. These sites:

Part of the application may even request the draft of a business plan.

The site asks you to pay an upfront fee, either to receive a list of available grants or to complete the application. In some cases, the site may ask that you open a new business bank account to receive the money. Once you provide the details of the bank account, the scammers may use the account to launder money. You never receive any money.

Government grant and loan services are offered free of charge by government departments or agencies. No one can guarantee government grants and loans. Private sector companies are not involved in the approval process of government grants and loans.

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Government grant

Scammers use ads that state you may qualify for free money that you can spend on anything. You complete an application and receive confirmation that you qualify. To get the money, you need to pay an upfront fee. The more you pay, the more you'll get.

Variation: Recommendation from a friend

In a variation, one of your trusted friends contacts you via social media to tell you about a free grant they got from a government grant program. They encourage you to apply as well. Unfortunately, the messages are from a scammer who hacked your friend's account.

These grant offers are completely fake and no grant is ever received.

Loan

Websites that appear to be legitimate lending companies claim they can help everyone. They may use wording such as "good credit, bad credit, apply now!" and guarantee a loan for a fee.

Weight loss grants

Scammers use ads for free weight loss grant programs to promise to pay most of the weight loss program's fee. After you submit an application, you receive a confirmation email stating that you qualify. Every applicant does.

The scammers refer you to a preferred vendor, where you'll need to pay an upfront program fee. You follow all the rules and lose the weight by the deadline. After requesting the promised grant, you receive no money.

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