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Should you receive a phone call telling you that you have been awarded a ‘government grant’ of thousands of dollars, you might want to hang up if:

The person on the other end of the line sounds like they are calling from Asia;

The caller ID begins +75;

And, most importantly, you haven’t applied for a grant.

Most people probably don’t know that +7 is the country code for Russia, and fewer know that there is no Russian area code that begins with 5, so the number is bogus.

I didn’t hang around for the whole spiel, but I assume I would have been asked for bank codes and my Social Security number to ‘expedite processing’ [i.e. their removing all of my money from the bank.]

Having dealt with the grant process, I can tell you that you have to apply, and everything is on paper, or it doesn’t exist. [It may not exist even if it is on paper, but that’s another story.]


1 ellroon { 06.14.12 at 10:30 pm }

No worries, I’ve got a Nigerian banker who seems to be having troubles and needs a third party to transfer funds. I can help! Strange how he found me in the phone book because I’m not listed, but anyway, I’m waiting for the check in the mail….

2 Bryan { 06.14.12 at 10:47 pm }

It’s a lot quicker when you provide the bank codes … now if I just knew Jamie Dimon’s account number … 😈

3 Steve Bates { 06.14.12 at 11:59 pm }

“Dimon” … I think he misspelled it… it should be “Demon” or perhaps “Daemon”.

Grant applications are The Government Paperwork from Hell. You don’t get anything for less than a two-dozen page form, plus attachments. And woe betide you if you type anything outside the lines…

4 Bryan { 06.15.12 at 12:19 am }

… and if if they say they approved it, you still don’t know if the money will actually arrive, and if it arrives, you aren’t confident that you should spend it. When I was teaching we always had the same department chairman because he could write grant proposals that got approved. He had a ‘grant dictionary’ that included the key terms to use when creating the proposals that constantly seem to produce winners.

Had some painful and expensive experiences with ‘free government money’, to the point that I wouldn’t bid on any government work at any level, and my subcontracting included some really nasty provisions in the agreement with the prime contractor.

OT: the instructor in my main data base class used government requests for bids to show how easy it was to design a totally worthless system. People who don’t understand the capabilities and limitations of computers should never be allow to write specifications. He worked for a major IT contractor and the RFBs were real projects that they were paid big bucks to implement, but even bigger bucks to make functional via change orders.