Local loses money trying to get grant
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Furthering your education is a goal for so many. And it can be intimidating, when considering the cost of earning your degree. But as one Valley teen tells Contact 13, be careful where you turn for financial help, because thieves could be looking to take advantage.
This is one 17-year-old with his head in the clouds, and that's a good thing, because David Bacon has dreams of going to flight school.
"I want to be an airline pilot. Possibly fly for FedEx," says David.
He's done his research and David says school is going to cost him about $60,000. That's money he doesn't have. But back in November, David thought his prayers had been answered with a phone call. A woman called up making him an offer he couldn't refuse.
"She was with the Grant Department of the U.S. Treasury. She told me that I could pretty much get around 9 grand for a grant," says David.
The woman he claims told him it was a very exclusive grant only offered to 1,500 people in the whole country. But before he could get the money, David was told he'd have to pay a fee of $205.
"And she said I had to do it through Western Union," says David.
He says he considered speaking to his parents first but they were out of town.
"I went with it. Because she, you know, sounded official. She had my parents' names, and maiden name and all that," says David.
So he wired the money the same day including a $10 fee for a total of $215. Next, he was told he'd have to speak with a bank rep. who would transfer the grant money into his bank account. But that's when David learned before that could happen, they wanted another $600.
"Yeah, he said well we need a security deposit, is what it was," says David.
That's when he says something didn't seem right, and he emailed Contact 13. We called the phone numbers David had, but never heard back from anyone. So we contacted the U.S. Treasury directly, which tells us this is a scam, and they'll never ask for an up-front fee for any type of grant money. David says he's learned a tough lesson and wants to warn others.
"Don't really believe everything you hear," says David.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line. Beware of any business transaction that involves wiring money because it's virtually impossible to track where the money goes. And there's typically an application process for getting a grant. In this case, David never had any paperwork.
We spoke with David's parents, who say they plan to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. For Contact 13, I'm Tricia Kean.