When searching for grant writing services, you must take caution. These days, there seems to be just as many scams as there are genuine grant-writers. So, it’s important to know how to detect scams. If you want to protect yourself and reduce the risk of getting scammed, here are some points to keep in mind:
- The Grant-Writer Calls You. This is not a usual business practice with legitimate grant writers. While you may receive mailers or postcards that have been mailed to your place of business, typically, it is the clients who pick up the phone to call and inquire about grants. It is highly unusual for a grant-writer to call you unless they are returning a call that you’ve made to them.It’s Just About The Money. During your initial conversation, there is little talk concerning your project. Much of the conversation is just about money and payment.
- Inflated Grant Sums. The grant-writer tells you that with only a small amount of money (that you pay him or her), you will get a huge sum. There is no discussion about the stiff competition in grant applications or the work and patience required during the process.
- Pre-Approved Grants. The grant-writer informs you that you have won a grant that you have not applied for. Or you get an email from an official-sounding organization alerting you that you have a large sum of money ready to be transferred to your bank account. All you need to do to get your grant funds is send a payment to “authorize the release” of the fake money to you. In order to win a grant award, you must first apply for one. And legitimate funders do not ask for a payment from you before awarding grant funds.
- Fake Government Agencies. Many people have received an email from the Federal Grants Commission. Well, that’s a big part of the problem. The Federal Grants Commission doesn’t exist. It’s one of the most popular government grant scams out there simply because people get distracted by the name.
- Asking for Personal Identifying Information. Grants are not loans. In no case will a funder ever ask for your social security number and personal banking information.
- Social Media Scams. Grant agencies never contact you via social media to alert you of an award. All the information they need to alert you about a grant will be in the grant application that you submitted to them.
One of the easiest ways to combat a grant scam is to do some research and stay alert. It’s always better to spend a few extra minutes double-checking rather than days or weeks trying to deal with the results of getting scammed.
Onward & Upward!