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Fake government grants fraud   (14.12.2017)
To make the grants look legitimate, fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government.

Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and directing them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.

Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake grant scheme. Fraudsters will then contact victims via phone or email, asking for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to Action Fraud.

How to protect yourself:

Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won't instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. Any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.

What to do if you're a victim:

If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded, contact your bank immediately.
Stop all communication with the 'agency' but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

The information contained within this alert is based on information from gathered by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. The purpose of this alert is to increase awareness of this type of fraud. The alert is aimed at members of the public, local police forces, businesses and governmental agencies.