Feb. 20, 2023
Strathcona County, Alta. – The Strathcona County RCMP want to warn residents of scams involving grants and loans. This may include funding and financial support for entrepreneurs and business owners and also grants for senior citizens or individuals seeking disability grants. This may show up in the form of an ad or you may be contacted through social media.
Recently we have seen people being contacted through Facebook messenger by a friend telling them about a free grant they received from the government and encouraging them to apply. Unfortunately, these messages are sent from a scammer who has hacked into someone’s Facebook account and then sends messages to their contacts.
During the process the scammers will ask for personal information and an upfront fee before accessing the grant or loan. Do not respond to these ads or messages on social media.
Prevent from being a victim of a loan or grant scam:
- Government grant and loan services are offered free of charge by government departments or agencies – if you are being asked for an upfront fee, it’s a scam.
- Never give out personal or financial information to people you don’t know.
- Beware of strange messages from friends on Facebook. If you receive a suspicious message from a friend that seems out of character, contact them offline to confirm it’s them. They may have been hacked.
- Independently verify any website that claims to be a government organization. Websites, phone numbers, and logos can be easily spoofed and faked. If you’re ever unsure, contact them directly.
For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Strathcona County RCMP Detachment at 780-467-7741.
Constable Chantelle Kelly
Strathcona County RCMP