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Government warns about scam phone calls

By Adam Schrager, aschrager@wisctv.com
Published On: Aug 08 2013 07:44:58 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -

The federal government is warning residents about a series of phone calls promising them free government grants.

Mike Grindle received the phone call on his cellphone in Fitchburg. He said the caller had information about him, like his date of birth and that he was looking for a job.

"I thought it was a great opportunity because they had information of me not working for a while and such," Grindle said. "I thought there was some level of legitimacy to it, but when they started asking for account information and wanting it over the phone, I just know that's a red flag, to never give that out."

Jessica Stevenson in Muscoda also received the phone call that came to her phone from a Washington, D.C. area code.

"It sounded real because they had my old address," Stevenson said. Like Grindle, she hung up when the caller asked for personal information.

The Federal Trade Commission's website features several consumer alerts related to fake government grants and government grant scams. Consumers are counseled to never give out personal bank account information to people they don't know.

Anyone who receives these phone calls is encouraged to report them to the FTC either online at www.ftc.gov, or by calling toll-free at 1-877-382-4357.

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