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Public funding and grants

It is the kind of fraud that happens when people or an organised group of criminals obtain claims against grants or lottery money for which they are not eligible.  

The government offers grants to help the underprivileged and the most vulnerable group of people, like the unemployed or small businesses, to help them support themselves during a crisis for a short term. However, one has to fill in a series of paperwork and documentation to get the grant approved. 

The cases of unexpected refund letters, tax rebates, or other messages seeking personal information, bank details, or threatening calls to pay tax bills have increased during the COVID lockdowns. 

Scammers defraud the most vulnerable individuals by making unsolicited calls or sending emails to extract tax information, identification details, or bank details, pretending to be from authorised departments. 

Sometimes, the fraudsters call pretending to be the IRS or police, asking the target to pay a fee to recover lost funds. Some even ask the target to send copies of their driver's license, passport and other documents to verify their identity to get lottery money. All such tricks are applied only to extract the details – that can be later used to commit identity theft.

Scammers often use forged documents or commit identity theft to claim such grants or lotteries. Therefore, one should never provide personal details to unknown callers. 

In addition, the regulatory agencies have advised citizens to know that authorities never ask about such a claim or send a voicemail to threaten legal action for payment delays.

How To Protect Yourself?

  • If you have never applied for a grant or entered any lottery website, do not respond to emails or calls from such sites.

  • Do not respond to messages with multiple spelling errors or strange words in letters. 

  • If there are no names in the letter – it signifies it is mass-produced and sent to all.

  • The caller may ask you not to tell anyone in your family or friends about the grant or lottery. 

  • They get the victim's details to apply for an advance loan of Universal Credit or seek upfront charges to help them get the benefits, but once they pay the fee, they lose the normal benefits and are left with large amounts of loans to repay.  

Date Published: Sep 09, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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