Grant Fraud Alert
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is alerting the public to the latest scheme to defraud the government and steal money from the American people.
This scheme involves contact (by phone, email or letter) from someone pretending to be from a government agency, such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). Although the precise message may vary, the caller or writer provides his or her name and a fake employee ID, and then typically tells you that you will receive "government grant money" as an incentive for paying taxes on time. The caller will then ask for personal or financial information, such as a Social Security number or bank account number. The caller may also ask you to send a check or wire transfer to cover a "processing fee."
If you receive such a call, hang up immediately! If you receive such an email or letter in the mail, do not respond! Call 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477; TTY 1-800-377-4950).
Remember: do not respond to these criminal schemes. Alert others about this scheme, and remind teenagers and children living in your household not to provide strangers with family or personal information.
Be smart. Do not respond to this and other schemes that try to obtain your personal information. If you receive such a call or message, call 1-800-HHS-TIPS or contact another law enforcement agency.
In the July 2011 Grants.gov quarterly webcast, Ken Dieffenbach, Senior Special Agent, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Fraud Detection Office and Special Agent Brandon Trice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, give a special presentation on grants fraud prevention that highlights three areas of interest; conflicts of interest, misuse of funds, and embezzlement. The session runs one hour and three minutes and includes discussion with audience questions.
Released December 21, 2010
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