Stimulus Scams Proliferating

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) separately have issued warnings to business owners and other consumers to be wary of scams based on the federal economic stimulus package.

According to the FTC, websites appearing to offer free U.S. government grants tied to the economic stimulus package can end up bilking unwary consumers out of more than $1,000, according to a PCWorld.com report.

Eileen Harrington
, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, is quoted as saying that the scams “have literally mushroomed up overnight.” The FTC has asked Web advertising companies to screen out ads for stimulus scams.

Previously the SBA had warned small businesses and consumers that letters have been sent out on stationery purporting to be from the SBA telling small-business owners they might be eligible for tax rebates under the stimulus plan and asking for bank account information.

For legitimate information on applying for US government grants, go to www.grants.gov/. For information on President Obama’s economic recovery plan, go to www.recovery.gov/.