• Report: #173956
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Mon, January 30, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, January 30, 2006

  • Reported By:la place Louisiana

ADVANTAGE AMERICA BENEFITS GRANT SCAM, RIPOFF WINTER PARK Florida *EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back into your bank account that was wrongfully taken from you!

*Consumer Suggestion: Some more advice

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It happened to my husband too. On January 8 and 9, he received a call from a person claiming that she's with the U.S. Government and that he was going to receive a grant for the amount of $12,500. She told him that in order for them to wire the money to his account, he needed to provide them with the checking account number and a routing number and $49.95 will be drafted from his account for processing.

He provided them with the checking account number but did not know the routing number. The person on the phone told him that she could find the routing number. She then called him back and gave my husband the routing number that she had obtained and asked my husband if it was correct. My husband told her to call back later on that evening, but she didn't.

On January 9th, I attempted to call the number that she gave my husband and I kept getting a answering message. When I finally got someone one the phone, I told them that my husband did not was conned into this and that someone at your company was identifying themself as a US Government worker.

I tols this person that was against the law and that if the someone was to receive a grant from the government, they would not be charges. I requested to speak to a supervisor, but could not take to one. I told them that we were not interested and that I am not authorizing any draft from my account.

When I got off the phone with them, I called my bank and did a stop payment on any electronic draft that might go thru for $49.95. The only problem I had was I did not know the name of the company that was going to do the draft, but my bank went ahead and stopped everything going thru for $49.95.

Apparently, the company could not get an debit thru because they did not have the correct routing number. Because the company still had my checking account number, they went ahead a processed a hard copy check the a fictitous number. The bank processed the check on January 20th.

I finally got a letter with some REQUEST form coupons on January 23, 2006. The letter stated that when I get the package containing the Government Information and Health Insurance, I had 7 day to review it and to call them to cancel or I will be debited $299.95.

I called them and told them that I had requested cancellation on January 9th and that I did not authorize this. All the guy would tell me is, I can let you listen to the recording of the authorization that was given to debit my checking account. He then told me that I was way pass the 7 days and that my $299.95 was drafted from my account on January 25, 2006.

I kept asking him if he was comprehending what I was trying to say. I told him that they were fraudulently using the US Government's name to scam people. He insisted that they are a legit company and that "I can let you listen to the voice recording of the authorization that you gave to debit your account." I then told him who authorized the $299.95, because I did not and again he repeated the same phrase.

I went to the bank this morning to close my account prior to call this company. My bank was very helpful. They are going to credit my acount and process an unauthorized check. When the guy told me that they drafted $299.95 from my account on January 25, 2006, I called my bank up to let them know what was going on.

I called the Florida Attorney's General Office (phone number deleted - see below) today and filed a complaint againt Advantage America. The AG Office stated that this is also under federal investigation and gave me the number to the Federal Trade Commission (phone number deleted - see below). I email and lodged a complaint with them too.

My advice to everyone is:
1. Do not give out personal information to someone calling you and asking for the information.
2. You need to call you bank and close the account. They will do whatever it takes to debit money from your account.
3. Let people you know about what's going on. I thought that this would never happen to me, but it did.
4. The Federal Government will not ask you for money if they are going to give you money. They will not ask you for personal information over the phone, everything is usually in writing.

la place, Louisiana

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.

EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back!


Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.

According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.

If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.

Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent!


Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.

And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.

Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.

If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form.


If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.

Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.

And good luck Let us know how you do!

ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com

Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!

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CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/30/2006 04:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/advantage-america/winter-park-florida-32792/advantage-america-benefits-grant-scam-ripoff-winter-park-florida-editors-suggestions-on-173956. 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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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Some more advice

AUTHOR: Alma - (U.S.A.)

- There is no such a thing as "governement grant" awarded to good behaving people. Those grants always come through a governement AGENCY or DEPARTMENT for some very specific object. (See DOE, NSF, etc.)

- To get any kind of federal founded grants the applicant has to fill out many papers, submit supporting documents, etc. There is no way that somebody does not remember to apply for them.
- The recipients of the grants get WRITTEN notice, but in the MOST cases the money is going to the recipient's college, research group, company not directly to him/her.
- The list of recipients usually public.
- Grants are never require any kind of fee, bank info, etc.

The most important: NEVER EVER give out your credit card, checking account, personal info to ANYBODY who calls you. Request the info in mail or request a phone number to call back. (Then search the company, agency.)
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