SCAM ALERT: Adams County Sheriff Warns of Fake Financial Aid Program – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

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SCAM ALERT: Adams County Sheriff Warns of Fake Financial Aid Program

Posted at 12:18 p.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints about a new scam circulating on Facebook where a person claiming to be a federal agent harvests victims’ private information.

The scammer claims to be working for a new government assistance program called “Benefits and Financial Aid,” AOHC says in a press release.

The ‘Agent’ claims it is a government and private foundation that distributes billions of free money each year to help those on SSI, retirement and those who don’t earn much.

Victims are asked to provide this “agent” with all of their personal information, including social security number, address, banking information, phone number, retired status, and other personal information.

In return, the “agent” sends a photo of a card with the title “Benefits & Financial Assistance Government” and a fake driver’s license to make it look like a legitimate request.

The scammer asks victims to send payment via Bitcoin and cash.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office asks everyone to be very careful when providing personal information to anyone.

If in doubt, contact law enforcement or the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.

How scammers might try to trick you

  • Scammers reach you in many ways. They posted advertisements for bogus government grants. Or they may be calling using a fake number that appears on your caller ID, so it looks like they’re calling from a federal or state government agency. Some send text messages, emails or social media messages saying you might be eligible for free money from the government.
  • Scammers make big promises. They might say you can get free money or a grant to pay for education, home repairs, home business expenses, household bills, or other personal needs.
  • Scammers try to look official. In addition to faking their phone number, scammers will pretend they are with a genuine government agency like the Social Security Administration. Or, they’ll make up an official-sounding name from a government agency such as the “Federal Grants Administration”, which doesn’t exist.
  • Scammers ask you for information or money. Government grant scammers may start by asking for personal information, like your social security number, supposedly to see if you qualify for the grant. Then they may ask you for your bank account information to deposit the grant money into your account or to pay the initial fee. Or they may ask you to pay these fees with a gift card, cash top-up card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. It’s still a scam.
  • Scammers try to be convincing. They might promise a refund if you’re not satisfied. Once you provide your bank account information or pay a fee, your money will disappear and you will never see the promised grant.

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