I was in the basement when the phone rang in the upstairs living room, so I was already a tad irritable when I took the call. My temper wasn’t improved by dead air on the line; but then a man came on, identified himself as Sylvester, and asked to speak to Patrick. I asked what the call was about.
He said he was calling from the National Grants Association, and wanted to advise Patrick that he was eligible for a $5,000 grant from the government. “What for?” I asked him. For anything, he explained; Patrick had paid lots of taxes, and now the government was offering to give some of it back to stimulate the economy.
“My goodness,” I said; “what number are you calling from? And what’s the name of your supervisor?” Sylvester tried to explain that the supervisor was busy, and that if I had questions he might be able to answer them himself; but he was hampered by having me talk over the top of him as I explained that I’m legally entitled to ask.
A few moments later another man came on the line, and identified himself as Reeve Lawson, Verification Officer of the National Grants Association. Maybe he really was named Reeve, and the first guy really was named Sylvester, but I’m under the impression that those are uncommon names on the Indian subcontinent, which was where both men’s accents hailed from.
Because I insisted, he gave me their phone number: 1-800-474-6185. So far, I haven’t been able to get it to work.
Reeve Lawson explained to me that we’d be receiving our grant paperwork in seven to ten days. All we had to do was sign the paperwork and return it along with a one-time filing fee of $249.95, and we’d get our non-repayable $5,000 grant.
“That’s very interesting,” I said cheerfully. “That grant doesn’t exist, anyone who pays you $250 will never see their money again, you are running a scam, and I’m going to report you to the Attorney General of the State of New York.”
Mr. Lawson rang off.
Is there any point in trying to report this? If so, to whom?