Don’t Trust Companies That Promise Government Grants and Loans
March is fraud prevention month and the Competition Bureau Issues Warning to Consumers to be extremely wary of companies that charge fee for information on government grants and loans, or guarantee that government funds can be obtained easily with their help.
The Competition Bureau is advising consumers to be diligent and do their homework, research before subscribing to newsletters, sending money or giving credit card or bank account details.
From the Competition Bureau Website:
Consumers should be extremely wary of companies that charge for information on government grants and loans, or guarantee that government funds can be obtained easily with their help.
These companies also tend to masquerade as government departments using names that seem real.
This is a scam. Canadian government departments or agencies generally never charge for information on its programs and no one can guarantee government grants and loans.
Consumers are advised to closely examine ads and websites. Take time to do some research before subscribing to newsletters, sending money or giving credit card or bank account details. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t get a direct answer, this could be a sign that you are being scammed.
Remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Common features of government grants and loans scams include:
Displaying a real-looking government website and/or a name that sounds like a government department;
Charging a fee to access information about government funding programs;
Claiming or giving the impression that they can provide consumers with special access to government funding programs;
Claiming or giving the impression that government funding is guaranteed; and
Posting numerous success stories of consumers who did not actually use their services.
Consumers are reminded that:
Federal, provincial and municipal governments generally do not charge a fee for information on their programs, including grants and loans;
Private companies play no role in the approval process for government grants or loans; and
No one can guarantee government grants or loans.
Consumers who believe they have been scammed or misled should contact the Bureau’s Information Centre at 1‑800‑348‑5358, or visit the Bureau’s website to file a complaint. Businesses and consumers can also contact the Canadian Anti‑Fraud Centre at 1‑888‑495‑8501, or visit its website.
Free government information for Canadian business entrepreneurs can be found on Canada Business Network’s website.
Learn how to protect yourself from fraud and scams in The Canadian Edition of the Little Black Book of Scams.