Illinois residents receive fake government grant calls

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(KTVI) - Don't Believe the Hype. Recent calls to people living in the metro east raise concerns about government grant programs. Who couldn't use some extra cash right?  Well before you rush into anything, understand something - there is no federal grant program dolling out cash.

These three women are among a half a dozen people I've talked with about the scam.    All six of them live in the metro east.  And over the past two weeks, they've received a call from a person claiming to work for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.   'She wanted to tell because my criminal record was clear, my driving record was clear that I`d been given a 9,000 dollar grant from the government. '

Its possible people won't question a call from the United States Department of the Treasury because tax season has started.  Now clearly, a tax refund check is earned money, not a grant.  But since people are so busy, some may fail to recognize what they must give up to get the cash according to Kristy.   'In order do to that, they had to have either my bank account number or a credit card number by then I knew it was hokum. '

Fortunately neither Kristy nor the other people I spoke with fell for it.  But the thought of a 9,000 grant is appealing if you're struggling financially or you're a trusting senior citizen or unable to tell it's a scam.  No one answered when we called the so called treasury agent back. Kristy says there are lots of red flags with this scam.  'Anyone who asks for your credit card number or bank account information, don`t do it.   If the government is going to send you money, they`ll send it to you, in a certified check.  You don`t have to talk to them you don`t have to give them any information at all.'

Remember, you'll never get a call from the United States Department of the Treasury.    Be sure you share this information with friends and family, and especially your elderly relatives.   Senior citizens are often targeted by scam artists.  If you have a consumer issue, call our toll free line 800 782-2222.  Volunteers take calls Monday through Thursday between 11 am and 1 pm.

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