- Report: #184108
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: First USA Financial, National Choice Grants
First USA Financial, National Choice Grants1900 Howell Branch Road Ste: 4-7 Winter Park, Florida U.S.A.
First USA Financial - National Choice Grants - Nation Grant Co - National Choice Benefits - First National Govt Benefits - Govt Grant Processing Center AKA Advantage America Fake Grant offer - they take your money!! Indian accent Winter Park Florida, Arkansas
I received a phone call from a foreign (East Indian, maybe Pakistan) guy, who sounded like he was calling from a noisy call center. The guy said his name was Josh Brolin and he gave me a Govt Employee ID number of 1021. He said he was from National Choice Grants and that I had been selected by the government to receive a $12,500 grant. This all sounded okay because I had just finished filling out all my online paperwork applying for grants for college. He then asked me if my name was correct, and he spelled my first, middle and last names correctly. He then verified my mailing address. I was suspicious and asked him how he got my phone number, being as how it was my cell number, and how he knew my mailing address. He told me that he was affiliated with the Federal Govt, and that the call was being recorded by the govt.
He said that $12,500 was waiting to be deposited into my bank account on the next day and all he needed was my account info. I was very skeptical and asked several questions, to which he very smoothly gave me all the answers that made sense and made this all seem legit. He also gave me the phone number and mailing address to the company. I then gave him my account number ? stupid, I know, but he gave me so much reason to believe that this was for real!
He then transferred me to the verification dept, which was going to verify all my info and give me three different verification numbers that I was to give to my bank when they called me the next day to make sure that I was expecting a $12,500 deposit from the Federal Govt. He also said that the next day I would be receiving a letter in the mail that I needed to fill out, sign, and write the three verification numbers on and send back to the address he provided.
He then transferred me to someone else (same type of accent) to go through the "verification process". This is where it got weird - I was then listening to an automated woman, but the East Indian guy was also on the line (like a 3-way call that he was controlling). He was entering numbers on the system (I could hear the beeping) but he could also mute the automated voice so that he could hear her but I could not. The Indian guy verified all my information again, and then I was to repeat all my information to an automated woman's voice when she asked for it. It seemed like there were a lot of long (20-30 seconds) muted out moments, where I couldn't hear what the automated voice was saying, and then I would hear her ask me things like, ?Do you authorize this??
This really seemed to me like there were things that I was supposed to be hearing that the foreign guy was purposely preventing me from hearing, so that I would authorize things I didn't know about!! This made me very skeptical, so I asked the guy what she was talking about when she asked me to authorize the transaction. He said that she was just asking me if I was giving permission for the $12,500 to be deposited into my account.
So I continued to question him, and he said that I would not be charged at all (?not one penny?), he kept saying over and over, and the account info was just for them to direct deposit my grant. I told him very clearly that they DO NOT have my permission to take any money from me whatsoever and he assured me they would not do anything but give me the grant. They also asked me to take a health insurance survey which consisted of two questions ? Do you currently have any kind of health insurance? and Are you currently taking any medications? (Weird)
So they guy thanked me kindly and told me to fill out the paperwork when I got it in the mail and expect the call from the bank? By the time I hung up, I was pretty sure I had been scammed ? but what could I do? I had already given them my account info in the first 10 minutes of the call (the call was over 30 minutes long altogether).
As soon as I got off the phone I went and looked up the name of the company on Google and I found this website (RipOffReport.com) and there were several reports that people had made on calls similar to this one, some identical, and how they were charged all kinds of money (one guy charged over $800!). So I immediately went to the bank and reported what happened, in case they tried to charge anything to my account.
Over a week later, an electronic check had gone through my account for $69.95 to a First USA Financial. I had no idea who this company was, but I was sure it was related. There was also a phone number on the e-check (1-800-825-7357) so I called it and some east indian guy answered and told me that they have record that I had opened an account with them through their automated system. I explained to the guy about the phone call I had received over a week previously... it was then that I realized that this guy was in on the whole thing also. He kept saying that I could not get my $69.95 back but he would close my "account" and I would still be receiving their "welcome package". I told him NO like TEN times, but he just kept asking me to consider it!!! I asked to speak with a Supervisor and he kept making different excuses as to why I couldn't talk to one (they were all too busy, he doesn't have a way of transferring me, etc),. So I told him I was going to call the FBI. He then got really nervous and kept interrupting me with "But anyway, Mrs. --- you have nothing to worry about, your account has been closed..." So I hung up.
Later I found out that they somehow also signed me up for some company called EZoneRate.com. So I called them and they were really nice about closing my account with them.
My bank is now taking my money back from First USA Financial, and I am closing that bank account so I don't have to deal with them further. But I called back later that day (just to mess with them) and the woman (east indian accent) told me that she was just an operator and someone would be calling me back within 24 hours... that was three days ago - so I'm sure it is known that I am on to them and they have all decided not to let me speak to anyone else. I call them a few times a day and play screaming audio clips as loud as I can into the phone or I tell them I am 'so and so' calling to give them a grant if they give me their account numbers - things like that. Hey, if they want to mess with me, I can play that game too!!
I am currently filing paperwork with the Better Business Bureau, Attorney General, and the FBI.
I am posting this in the hopes that this will not happen to you? it has already happened to several people! This is serious fraudulent activity? DON'T BE A VICTIM!
Here are some things to watch out for:
Anyone calling you saying they want to give you money!
Anyone calling you and asking for your account information, even if they already have a lot of your personal information.
Company Names I have read that they are using:
NATIONAL CHOICE GRANTS
NATION GRANT COMPANY
NATIONAL CHOICE BENEFITS
FIRST NATIONAL GOVERNMENT BENEFITS
GOVERNMENT GRANT PROCESSING CENTER
FIRST USA FINANCIAL
These are the phony company addresses that they have been giving:
405 Douglas Ave. Suite 1844-B
Altamonte Springs Florida 32714
1900 Howell Branch Road Ste: 4-7
Winter Park Florida 32792
These are the phone numbers they give you to contact anyone should you have questions:
This is the number they called me from:
236-456-4044 (An Arkansas area code)
They have also called someone else from:
They have used these fake names:
THESE SCAMERS ARE THAT CALL ARE BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WITH FOREIGN ACCENTS! DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY INFORMATION! THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY AND WANT NOTHING MORE THAN TO STEAL YOUR MONEY! THEY HAVE STOLEN PLENTY OF PEOPLE'S MONEY ALREADY! DON'T LET THEM TAKE FROM YOU!!
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/30/2006 12:33 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/First-USA-Financial-National-Choice-Grants/Winter-Park-Florida-32792/First-USA-Financial-National-Choice-Grants-Nation-Grant-Co-National-Choice-Benefi-184108. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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