Why Did I Receive a Phone Call Saying that I Won a Grant?

We’ve recently received an uptick of phone calls and emails from members of the public who received an unexpected call that they won a grant from NIH to pay for student loans, or as an award. This is a scam. No federal government grant-making agency will make phone calls or send emails or letters to solicit money or personal banking information from a potential grant recipient. 

While we know that you in the research community know that it requires an application to receive a grant, we feel it is very important to spread the word on how to identify these scams, and how to report them. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “Avoid Grant Scams” website has information on identifying grant scams and actions to take if you suspect fraudulent activity. If you think that someone has fraudulently represented Grants.gov or HHS, you can also contact the HHS Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477.

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50 thoughts on “Why Did I Receive a Phone Call Saying that I Won a Grant?

  1. +1 (650) 241-789
    Just received a call from the above number (yes, the last digit was missing). They claimed that I was to call a number to receive a $14,000 grant from you. The last time that they called it was for $9,000. I quizzed the person who was calling and reminded them that the government does not randomly call people, handing out money. The person was quite persistent and actually got quite agitated. I ended the call.

  2. I have received this call many times wanting to give me a substantial amount of money. They have a lot of my information and are trying to get me to go to CVS to finish the process. I’m very confused on what to do about all of this. I would really like for them to stop calling me. It is at least 4 time a day every single day.

    • Please don’t do it they had all my information telling me to go to cvs and get a Apple card and deposit 350 dollars and call them back and then they said I can take it back off please don’t do it I am going to call and report this I have their information where I suppose to call them back when I get the card and put the money on it and they told me not to discuss this with no one not even my fiancee that was stupid I discuss everything with him they are a joke…

      • I wish I had seen this yesterday when I was trying to look and talk. I did it. They then want you to “fill out a 8300 form and ‘pay tax of 998 to receive funds.’ ” I called it quits at that point.

  3. These people called me several times claiming to be from Seattle Washington with the same 14,000 grant. Saying to pay them 350 when I said no they said I had to pay 500 to cancel it and the “manager” actually cussed out my husband.

    • I was cussed out by two men that I talked to, and then I spoke to a guy that’s supposed to be a supervisor, and he said he would listen to the calls cause they ate recorded, and he will handle them!!!

    • I gave them my license number and last 4 of my ssc # but I never gave them my bank info whay can i do I didn’t realize what was going on until it happen and I canceled my bank card I case but I got the same call from Seattle Washington saying I won’t s grant for 1400

  4. Just received a phone call saying I was being given a grant from NIH in amount of $14,566.00 but wanted my bank acct info. I said I didn’t have a bank acct so they told me to go get a prepaid card and they would transfer the funds within 10-15 minutes. Gave me a Badge ID# & call back # & Grant App #. I never applied for a grant but my unemployment just ran out & I was supposed to start a job on Monday but it fell through… Sounds very professional but you can hear other people in background like its a call center…

    • It is definitely a scam. You must apply for an NIH grant, and NIH will notify you in writing of the award. Note that most NIH grants are made to research institutions and not to individuals.

      I am sorry this happened.

    • I have had these people call me at least 6x a day even while I was at work so I finally answered and was told I was pick out of 56 other folks and I was going to receive $14,566 but here is the kick..I had to go to dollar general and get a apple card and put $500 on it then 2mins later they will transfer the funds to my debit card! Im going to report them and give as much information about them as I can!!

      • This just happened to me its s scam I reported them to news channel 4 and to the fraud call center…….the government doesn’t send out grants over the phone and damn sure they don’t ask for money for it…they told me put 200 on a card

      • I was called on April 22nd and I was supposed to go to dallied general to 400 to put Ina Apple card and said that I would have 14.550 in my account I got scammed I just lost out of 400 dollars I keep asking is this a scam and they would say no ma and just repeating that he was a government departments of health department I’m mad their names are Derek brown & and some numbers was s.r. 210296 ! I’m not a happy camper right now !

    • I also had the same problem asking me for my banking accounting number and offered me $14,566 a grant.

    • This exact same call just came to me. Apparently, they worked for NIH, the National Institute of Health. It sounded like a call center in the background. They told me I was qualified and awarded a grant for $14,566.00. He told me I was selected from a survey made in April 2016 from tax returns that year and said that I had no reports of fraud or bankruptcy so I just had to verify my identity. I was told the money would be transferred to my account within 10 to 15 minutes and that he would stay on the line with me the entire time of verification. He also said that the call was being recorded. He gave me the grant manager phone number, money confirmation number, his name, government base ID number, and the address of his base and the department. THIS IS A SCAM!!!!!!!! I just called the Fraud Prevention number and these people are on their radar. The fraud hotline told me to that the government never calls you; they send mail. That is your first red flag. Do not fall for it like I did. You do not want to have to change your bank account and take the counter-measures that I had to. It is stressful and you are better off hanging up the phone. Good luck to you all.

    • I know it was a scam from the beginning that is why i did not fall for it especially because it was an unknown number. but they have all my information including my social security. What do i do?

  5. I received a call from a Maryland number. He claimed I was picked from the 200 recipients of a grant in the amount of $14,466, from the National Institute of Health Department. He would not supply a badge number, but issued me a Grant ID# MS003.

    He supplied the correct address for the NIH. He wanted to “transfer” the grant to my bank account (never gonna happen), or he could “transfer” the amount to a prepaid credit card (I don’t buy those either, but thanks!). After hanging up, I decided to call the return number for his “supervisor”, and I was not at all surprised to hear his voice again.

    Anyone in their right mind should know that the government will not issue a grant 1) without an application 2) by phone, they notify winnings via mail 3) to be placed into your account, as it comes in the form of a check and 4) NIH provides grants to organization type research personnel, not individuals for student loans. I hung up, and notified the HHS Fraud hotline at 1-800-447-8477.

    • That just happened to me! Exact same ID number and everything…I’m calling the fraud department

  6. I just received a call from Isaac green from national institute health department.
    Call back Phone #
    Number on caller I’d
    1-656-524-978
    (Last digit missing)
    App # ig009
    Grant amount 14,566.00

    I’m glad I googled before I ran to Walgreens to get the prepaid visa they requested me to get.

    • That’s the same person who called me same grant amount and same application number but a different phone number

  7. I also received the call like this it sounded too good to be true so I ended the call

  8. When I asked them who they were and their credentials she started pretending like we were getting disconnected lmao

  9. I currently am on hold for a manager from this company. They wanted me to go to Target to get a prepaid Apple card and said that I had won 14,566 grant “Nj23200. What an attitude this little guy had!! His name was Adam Charles and his badge # is Ac21003. They hung up on me!

  10. They knew all of my personal and banking info, I’m now on the phone with the fraud department of my bank. I would recommend that everyone do this so you don’t have a problem later.

  11. Yes, I got the same call. First I believed them and gave my bank details too.Later I got a doubt and searched for info about National Institute of health department grants scam. He asked me to go walgreens to get verify my details and registration. I said its not possible now, because I need to discuss with my husband about this. He said, we will hold your grant till tomorrow.

    Do they do any transaction using my account details. Does it happened to anyone. If so, what should do.Please let me know

    • Talk to a person in your bank about making a new account. Once you’ve spoken to them follow their advice if you think its best.

      Check your bank account now, right now. Create a new account that has no attachment to your old account. Most important you need to either shut down the account or change your account number. With your banking info they can and will steal your money.
      Hope everything goes well for you, let me know.

  12. all a scam. do NOT give any info to them, Nice to think our government is handing out $$$ but they are not.

  13. Wooowww i got this phone call today from Adam Charles! Has anyone that gave their bank info had any fraud transactions? This is ridiculous that people do this for a living!

  14. I lost 1,350 believing this! Smh! They provided badge numbers, addresses and everything! First I had to pay 350 on an iTunes card to register my name! And I thought I would get it but after I was sent over to the dispense center they said I had to pay taxes before getting the grant, which was 900 and change so 1000! I was like seriously smh! I said I don’t have that money so the man Ben Morgan said he’ll cover 500 and I pay the rest! Took me a week and I was able to pay 500! So then he tries the transaction and goes the IRS won’t take his money cus they don’t want me owing him! I said I don’t believe u even put it up! Well then my nieve self came up with the extra 500 plus an additional 100 so they could hold my application!
    I continued cus he said I can’t get my money back until I complete it and was so far in smh!
    Nowwwww Ben goes my credit score isn’t high enough and so the money bounced back after they tried 3 times! And to pay 1275 and they’ll double the 15 thousand and change!
    I’m stopping NOW cus I already waisted a month rent and I’m soooo deep in the hole! He won’t give me back my money! I’m calling Mon and will demand his boss or superior, I knew something was off!
    I’m soooo pissed, but the grant would have helped me more than u know!

  15. This is a total scam! Do not believe a word. They called the first time claiming to be from the National Institute of Health Department. They told me I had “won” a grant in the amount of $14,000. They told me to call with my grant number to “claim my grant”. I have never applied for a grant. I did not call the number, but instead called the above number for the HHS Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477. They did indicate to me it was indeed a fraud! I also gave them the number the scamers tried to get me to call. Hopefully they will call!

  16. Wow just now got called several times by these people. $14,566 such an odd number money wise. Found out from here that they are scamers! Didn’t even put in the grant info. Smh I’ve applied for grants before and they never ask for banking info or ask you to pay to receive the money.

    • My sister is on phone with a person right now saying that she won the same grant. They gave her the address of Seattle’s social security office and said it was human resources. I got offered the same grant yesterday and did some research on it.

      • What did you find out about it i got the same phone call they didnt ask for my bank info or my social either? But i googled the address and it showed the social security administration office in seattle washington is it a scam??

    • I just had the same exact call while on the phone with him i called the number that he was calling me from and it was answered by an Internal Revenue Service Recording in maryland. I’m really confused now.

  17. DO NOT FALL FOR IT!!

    after listening to the whole spill from (Ben), it didn’t sound right AND my gut instinct said to hang up. But I still ended up givng them my banking info and was told that I had to go activate a card. Once I got there the rep “Derek Brown” said don’t mute the call or put me on hold and activate 4 – $100’s gifts cards. I did buy them and he wanted the numbers on the cards. I sat in the parking lot and Googled this address given to see all of these posts. I hung up on the rep and now I am stuck with $400 worth of cards and will have to try to sell these cards. And I have to get another acct set up. I should’ve researched this before leaving work. UGHHHHH! 🙁

  18. Scam Scam Scam. I too just got a call from someone. Offered me a grant for $14566. What is scary is that they had all my information including my current address. I called her out on it and hung up so I never got to the idiot who would want the bank account and all that kind of information. Unbelievable how people can do this and take advantage of the people who just wouldn’t know any better like the really young or the elderly. She gave me the same agency as all of you with a phone number that she claims is a number that will relay. I tried to call back the 963 number and it said that there was no such number.

  19. I just got a call as well. I could hear all the people in the background talking. He wanted my Banking Information. I told him that I was already on SSI and my check goes to my account each month, so if he really was from the Department of Health & Human Services then he should already have my information and I was not giving him anything. He gave me a different number to call. I guess they think we are all stupid or something! Blocking their numbers!

    • I blocked the number too but now they keep calling from a no caller ID number and they literally call every 10 minutes.. I stopped answering and just ignore the calls now they actually got the hint when I keep hitting the decline call button on my phone.

  20. I just got one of these calls too saying I won a grant for $14,000. I never got the persons name who was calling but got some address that I’m supposed to go to for some meeting thing followed by the grant approval number and a phone number to call if I got disconnected which the number I got was (469)565-048$ (I blocked out the last digit for that persons privacy that is a working#). I ended the call after whoever it was tried transferring me and called the number they gave me,it was a working number but it’s also Saturday so no answer.the person that called me did ask for details on me which I gave them bogus info for my own personal safety. I did however write down the info the person gave me and I looked up the address and now I’m going to inform those people which are a social security administration that someone’s using their address and possibly phone number for scamming.

  21. I can’t believe I lost $1,275 on apple card that i’m really upset now I have no clue how am I’m going to give this monew to my friend. …

  22. yeah they called me ..gave them fake everything….fake SS…birthday …drivers ID….then came the big one they wanted my bank account #…bahaha

  23. Omg how can a people like that going through this people stupid crazy for money! i just waste $100 iTunes apple yesterday its for my kid’s.. How they can do that??? Im so weak and they keep on call i said need my money back YOU SCAMS PEOPLE 😏😟

  24. I just received a call from a private number saying I will receive a grant of $14,566 from the department of health and human services. I didn’t give them any Id or social number or bank information but they do have my address. Should I be worried?

  25. I just recieved a call from two guy’s who said they were from the NIH. They said that I had been selected to recieve a grant because I paid my taxes every year. I could spend my money on anything but no gambling or booze. I could not share it with anybody and I could not give it away. He wanted last four didgits of my social. He wanted me to go to wall mart and get a prepaid card and put $200.00 on it. Well he lowered it to $50. I ask ed about the first guy said I would get $1000.00 and he said he made a mistake. Well he wanted me to stay on the phone while I went to wall mart and do the bit withe card. He said I would need to confirm everything when finished. He wanted to give me &14,566.00 and then dropped it to $9,000. Wanted my wife to go with me . stay on the phone while I get ready to go and get in my van drive to Walmart go in and do everything with the card. Stupid. I just cut him off. Turned the phone off. Please don’t do this. It’s a SCAME.

    • Thanks for your comment. I looked this information up and saw your comment while I was on the phone with them and cut him right off after I saw this comment. He was offering me the same thing! Thanks again for taking the time to expose this scam.

  26. Reminder: to report a potentially fraudulent activity, call the HHS Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477. If you think you may have been a victim of a government grant scam, you may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their website.