New scam targets elderly, offers government grant
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new phone scam is targeting the elderly by claiming they've won a government grant and providing detailed and accurate information about the victim.
Ellen Rader was working as a school crossing guard Tuesday afternoon, when she got a call on her cell phone from a woman with a foreign accent.
"She said I am from the government. And, I said 'What government?' And, she said, 'The government.' And, she says 'You've been selected to receive a grant of $6700. You don't ever have to pay it back ever.' She said, 'Are you interested in proceeding?'"
Rader says the woman even had her social security number. She says the woman gave her a grant number and told her to immediately call a man named Charlie Williams at a number that even had a Washington, D.C. area code.
Rader says she was suspicious, but since they actually had her social security number, she thought she'd check it out.
Rader says the man who also had a foreign accent said she'd need to fork over $150 for taxes before she could get her money.
When she said she didn't have it, she says the man got rude and hung up.
WDRB's David Scott called the same number Rader did, and asked for Charlie Williams.
David Scott: "What department is this coming from?"
Charlie Williams: "The United States Government Grants Department, OK?"
DS: "There is no such department."
CW: "There is no such department?"
DS: "There's no Grants Department. You're making that up."
CW: "How can you say that there's no Grants Department?"
DS: "Because there is no Grants Department."
DS: "Charlie, What do people have to do to get money?
CW: "OK, thank you very much. And, if you don't want to get this grant money, please don't call back."
When Scott told the man he'd love to get the grant money, White hung up.
Rader says while she didn't buy the scam she thinks others might. And, she doesn't want anyone to be taken.
"Even I thought 'Maybe this is the government,' because they had everything, and it was right. They had to know how old I was, and I guess they figured I was easy prey. I'm sorry, I'm not."
The Better Business Bureau says it's now aware of this particular scam. But, the BBB says the federal government doesn't randomly give out grants to individuals.
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