CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning consumers to be on guard against impostors using social media platforms to promise government grants.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received numerous calls related to bogus grants during the past few weeks. Consumers report being contacted via social media from scammers who claim to be friends, family and others the consumer trusts—including a link to a State Supreme Court Justice.
Scammers ask the consumer to send payment through a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer to receive a government grant that never materializes.
“Consumers should not pay money in order to receive a government grant,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “That is simply not how the process works and should be a red flag for anyone considering doing so.”
Consumers should follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim of a potential scam:
- Write down all necessary contact information for the alleged government agency giving the grant.
- Do not give out personal information unless you can verify the identity of the recipient.
- Look out for fake social media accounts with photos posing as friends and family.
- Be wary of anyone who uses bullying tactics.
- Be wary of anyone asking for payment via purchase of a prepaid card or via wire transfer.
Anyone believing they have been the victim of a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.