There is another scam going around, and this time it involves government grants. 

There are always going to be scammers out there trying to fool people out of their hard earned money. With the latest scam, consumers are being convinced they can get "free" money, just by paying a small "registration" or "processing" fee.

Securing a government grant is highly competitive and complex process. These grant scams are on the rise as credit becomes harder to get. Thousands of consumers are being victimized each year by these scammers.

Scammers make their pitch via the internet or telemarketers. Scammers are using technology to disguise their location in caller ID systems. So, it may look like they're calling from Washington D.C., but they could be anywhere in the world.

The scams operate by taking money up front and failing to provide any grants. Offers of easy money are tempting, but no matter how good the deal sounds, don't waste your money.

You will not get a government grant to pay your medical bills or fix your car. The fact is, 98% of federal grants are awarded to schools, local governments, colleges or universities, and non-profit organizations.

The Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs cautions consumers to not do business with telemarketers or spam e-mailers offering “free” grants. Consumer Affairs can be reached at 340-3260.

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