On Dec. 7, 2005, I received a phone call from a man that had a heavy accent. He asked to speak to the owner of the phone. Somehow they had my cell phone number. I asked what it was in regards to, and he then asked to speak to a.... and stated my full name. I was then intrigued, and thought I would see what he wanted and find out how he had received my information. He said he was from a Federal Grant Processing Center. He told me that I have been qualified to receive a $12,500.00 Federal Grant that I would not have to pay back and I could use it for whatever I wanted to. He then told me that he would be sending a packet to my address, and stated my address (I just recently moved a month ago, and he had my new physical address). I said ok, so I would need to review this paperwork, sign and return? He said yes, but first he would need to have my bank account information so that he could give me an identification number so that I could track the processing and so they could charge me the small fee of $49.95. This gave me an unsettled feeling. Why would they need to charge me to receive a grant that I would not have to pay for? I then asked for the name of the company and for his name. He told me he worked for Advantage America, a Federal Government Processing Center and his name was Joseph Mark. He asked me if I had a bank account, and I told him no, not at the moment. He said that I would have to have a bank account to receive the funds and asked if a family member would allow them to process it through their account. I said no. I told him that I did not feel comfortable with giving out my account information (because I have just recently been hit by fraud and was taken for more than $1,500.00 by a person using my name and processing electronic checks through my account). I aksed him how he got my information. He told me that he received it from the government. they completed a random survey to pull up people with paid up taxes, no federal or state penalties/no criminal records, upstanding citizens. I asked him to give me more information about the company so that I could research it prior to giving him my information. He gave me a phone number and told me they were based in Winter Park, Florida. I called it while we were on the phone and it seemed to me, to be just a recording that repeated the same thing, all representatives are still with another customer, please continue to hold. While I was on both phones, I asked him if there was an extention where I could reach him again, he said no, I just had to call and that I would be able to get a hold of him. I said ok, and he then offered to call me back tomorrow. I said that would be fine. (No one answered my call into this so called company. I left my phone on hold for 15 minutes and it continued to repeat the same thing).
After our conversation, I immediately started researching this information online (I finally hung up my other phone). (It seemed all too familiar to me, I was scammed by a credit consolidation company before and taken for $800.00. Needless to say, I've learned my lesson). When I found this site, and the all to similar stories, I knew then, I was right in keeping my information to myself. It amazes me how easy it is to get someone's information. I would like to say to all of you who have reported your stories, THANK YOU! for sharing! This guy will not be getting my banking information. Thank you again!
Citrus Heights, California