HUD warns of scammers offering fake grants

By Kelly Leighton | June 10, 2016 | 2 min. read

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a warning about a new scam in which people are being offered fake housing grants.

Scammers are calling and telling victims that they have been “awarded” a grant from HUD, but that they must pay a fee to process the grant. HUD clarified that they will not call or email anyone to “award” anything, nor do they charge processing fees.

Thus far, there have been several reports of the scam across the country. In January, in California, a woman received a call claiming she had received a federal grant, and she needed to send a copy of her identification to receive the grant. The caller said his name was Matthew Maxwell, and his number was (315) 675-4146.

In March, he struck again, this time calling a woman in Virginia, telling her that in order to receive her grant, she had to wire or send a certified check of $350 for fees. He gave his name as Richard Johnson, with the same phone number he previously used.

Reportedly, there is also a woman involved, as last month, a woman in Washington, D.C. said she received a call from someone named Alice, at the same number, who said the victim had been awarded a HUD grant. Once again, the woman was instructed to wire $350 to cover the fees.

There was one more incident last month, in which a man in California received a call from someone claiming to be from HUD and asking the man to return the call at the aforementioned number.

To protect your clients, HUD recommends suggesting they do not take calls from the number (315) 675-4146. They should also not give identification information or wire money to anyone offering them a grant. If a client suspects they have been the target of a scam, they should file a report by clicking here.

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