Free US Government Grant Scam Costs Teen Thousands

If it seems too good to be true it probably is.  A Johnston County teenager lost thousands of dollars recently after falling victim to a telephone scam.

The 19 year-old received a phone call from a number that appeared to originate in New York.  The victim said the caller claimed they were providing free US Government grants and she had been selected.  To qualify for the free money, she was told to send send $4,000 to qualify.

The victim went to two different stores to obtain a total of $4,000 in prepaid gift cards. She provided the card numbers to the caller only to later realize there was no free money and it was a scam.

The government does not offer free money or grants to individuals for personal needs.  If you receive a text, email or phone call from someone claiming they are with the US Government and are promising free money, report it to the Federal Trade Commission or your local law enforcement agency.


  1. Who isn’t suspicious first of free money, second of having to pay for free money and third having to pay the fee with GIFT CARDS? People will fall for anything.

  2. And some people want to LOWER the voting age?? This proves that anyone under 21 should not be allowed to vote. She had $4,000 and gave it all to some random scammer? That is beyond inexcusable and also proves that our educational system in this country is woefully lacking.

      • I’d second that motion. Absolutely. “No more voting for imbeciles!” That would be an epic campaign slogan.

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