HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported a scam is circulating regarding a government grant scam.

According to a report, a Henry County man lost $18,000 after the scammer reportedly pretended to be the man’s brother-in-law on Facebook Messenger and told him about a government grant. From there the scammer who was impersonating a government official asked the man to send him cash, gift cards, and personal information in order to “secure” his grant, the report stated.

“They even contacted him in the hospital after I blocked their Messenger site,” the wife of the victim told BBB.

This year the BBB ScamTracker has reported 346 government grant scams nationally with a total of $486,852 lost.

The BBB says these scammers will call, email, or use social media to get a hold of you. There are several ways you can spot government grant scams.

  • Government grants require an involved process, where the seeker pursues the funds. If someone is asking for money, it’s a red flag and you are dealing with a scammer.
  • A government agency won’t ask for money in order to gain a grant.
  • Make sure the agency or organization is credible.
  • Be careful with people asking for your bank information

If you see something suspicious you are asked to report it to the BBB Scam Tracker website.