Victim loses hundreds to scammers offering government grant

Victim loses hundreds to scammers offering government grant

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A local man is sharing his personal story of pain and loss after falling victim to a phone scam. He thought he'd won a grant, but instead, scammers bilked him out of hundreds.

"I feel stupid for falling for this one because I never had it done before," said the man, who did not want us to use his name.

He fell victim to a scam that cost him hundreds of dollars, which is a loss he thinks about all the time.

"Every day, I wake up, and I'll probably be thinking about it for a long time," he said.

He got a call from an alleged government official saying he'd won thousands of dollars.

"Like it was a grant, but I didn't owe the money back once they gave it to me," he said.

All he'd have to do is send in money via Western Union for processing fees. The scammers hit him up twice for payments totaling $871. He said the calls sounded extremely credible.

"They had other phones ringing in the background, other people talking, it just sounded like a business place," he said. "We looked up the address and everything, and address came back that it was a real place."

When the scammers asked him to send money a third time, that's when he became suspicious.

"I asked them if they was a scam. They wouldn't give me no answer. I kept on and kept on, and they finally said this is recording, don't be talking that on the phone," he said.

He never saw his money again, and never got the grant.

He's not proud of it, but he's sharing his story because he hopes someone else can be spared a similar experience.

"To help other people to be careful of the phone calls they get," he said.

Investigators say if you get a call from someone saying you won a grant you did not apply for or a lottery you did not enter, it's probably a scam. If it looks too good to be true, it almost always is.

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