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Avoiding Government Grant Scams

Federal grant advertisement, application, and administration processes are available via the internet.

Although moving online has made applying for grants more accessible to citizens, it can also open up the process to scammers looking to collect your personal information, steal funds, or do other harm to you or your organization.

No Registration Fees for Required Systems

There is no financial fee to register for required systems, like or, commonly used in submitting grant applications or for federal procurements.

Watch for These Warning Signs

Be on the lookout for grants or grant personnel that:

  • Charge a fee for services that are free, such as using and registering for or
  • Offer to fund things that federal discretionary grants do not support, such as paying for applicants’ credit card debt, home repairs, or other personal needs.
  • Ask you or your organization to wire money, send cash, or use gift cards or cryptocurrency.
  • Ask for your or your organization’s personally identifiable information (PII), like a social security number or tax ID number.
  • Ask for you or your organizations’ payment card industry (PCI) information, like a credit card number.
  • Look “official” by using or spoofing Washington, D.C., phone numbers or email addresses, or use a lookalike government email address.
  • Use fake government agency names like the “Federal Grants Administration” or “Federal Sweepstakes Bureau”—neither of which exist.

Helpful Tips

Helpful tips to avoid government grant scammers are available on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Consumer Advice site and illustrated guide to detecting Government Imposters.

Report a Scam

If you think you may be the victim of a grant scam, help is available! Please file a complaint with the FTC