I am providing this report for a close friend of mine who is unable to get online at the present time. She called me today and advised she had just been advised she won a government grant. When I asked her further, she advised she had remembered entering something back last summer and had received a phone here today.
A Samuel Daniels had called her and provided that she was to be the receiptant of a $5000+ government grant. He pursuaded her to provide her banking account information to process the $348 fee which they would take out at an agreed date. He also advised if the funds were not available at that time, then they would take it in installment payments ($174 twice).
I was nervous for her because you don't have processing fees to recieve grants. I called the 866# provided to her. I didn't know the company name so when a lady answered I started asking what company she worked with. Evidently, there are more than one name company they are operating under as she advised she was a third party customer service representative located in Barbados and quickly went into the "spill" why their offices were in Barbados for cost reasons.
I asked about Samuel Daniels and she identified the company as GSI Grant Services, Inc. She advised they provided grant filling assistance and would send out a book along with the form to file for grants. She acknowledged they were not associated with any specific US government agency, operated as a third party assistance company, but was persistent that filling out the form that they provided (which she read to me over the phone and appeared to be an application for Federal Assistance) should get my friend her grant.
She could not provide any satisfied customers nor was able to provide any incorporation information (like a fed ID #) to check them out. No website "as of yet". Advised they had been in business 5yrs. I was not able to speak with Samuel Daniels as they took no calls into the call center and was not able to speak with a supervisor as she did not take calls and only handled training, questions from them and keying of info.
It is very evident that these people have good training for asking your questions (she put me on hold a couple times to solidify her answers). She was doing a good job of convincing me that they were an assisting company with filing for grants even though they charged an exuberant fee to get the free forms and manual.
I spoke back with my friend and we did a three way call back for her to cancel. A different lady answered and when provided with the info and the cancel request, advised that her info wouldn't be in the computer until next Friday, 20th (her funds were supposed to be taken out on the 27th) and to call back then to cancel. My friend is taking no chances and has contacted her bank already.
Shenandoah Valley, Virginia