Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania residents are being targeted by a new scam promising state grants, according to an announcement on Monday from the state treasurer’s office. Fraudsters posing as representatives from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve Bank notify recipients of grant awards but first require tax payment via gift cards or other means.
Treasurer Stacy Garrity explains how this scam works
Treasurer Stacy Garrity highlighted the multi-layered nature of this scam and emphasized that the state neither discloses grant awards nor collects taxes. Garrity also clarified that government agencies, including the Treasury, would never ask for payments through gift cards.
In a particular case, an elderly individual from Indiana County was deceived into paying thousands of dollars through gift cards in order to receive a $25,500 state grant. After sharing the scammer’s letter and the victim’s experiences, Garrity cautioned against such criminals who exploit the innocent for monetary gains and urged everyone to be vigilant.
Victims should immediately report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission or police
The officials advised scam victims or potential victims to immediately report them to the Federal Trade Commission, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, and local law enforcement. Also, any suspicious correspondence claiming to be from the Pennsylvania Treasury Department should be reported. Contact can be made via their website at https://www.patreasury.gov/contact/ or by phone at 717-787-2465.