Federal government grant scam targeting seniors

Filed under: News |

Denver- AARP ElderWatch and the Office of the Colorado Attorney General want to warn seniors about bogus telephone offers for federal government grants. AARP ElderWatch has received calls from seniors who have been offered grants through the “federal grant information center.” In all cases the caller begins by explaining that as a tax payer the senior has randomly been selected for a federal grant of several thousand dollars, but before any money can be exchanged the senior must pay an application fee, usually between $250 and $500. The caller then insists that the senior provide a bank account and routing number in order for the grant to be direct deposited.

Seniors should be advised that there is no federal grant information center and that no consumer should ever pay a fee before being awarded a grant or prize. Once a perpetrator has an account number they can empty a bank account with one withdrawal. One bank reported that a client lost more than $8,000. Citizens who are approached by these con artists are encouraged to report the incident to AARP ElderWatch.

AARP ElderWatch is a program with the Colorado Attorney General and the AARP Foundation. The objective is to stop the financial exploitation of seniors. Seniors and their families can call the AARP ElderWatch consumer hotline and speak with a counselor to discuss consumer issues and request additional information. The hotline is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and can be reached calling (800) 222-4444, press option 2 for AARP ElderWatch.