Obama Checks and Government Grants – New Facebook Ad Scam

by on February 1, 2009

Check out these latest Facebook scam ads.  Free Government Grants!  Obama giving away stimulus money!  $12,000!  $13,000!  Even $17,000 to pay off your bills, take a vacation, whatever you want!  Only $1.99 shipping charge to get $15,000 in days!  For only that much, how could you possibly lose…

Looks like there is a new ad scam making the round on Facebook.  It still astounds me that they allow this junk into their advertising.  Even Google, with their tens of millions of daily ads manages to weed out most of the scams and cheats.  Facebook apparently has no such policy in place, as they keep showing me ads like these over and over again.

Looks great huh!  Free money from Obama’s US Government Grants!  Except there is no such thing.  This is the same tired old Grant scam that’s been going around for years now.

Here is how it works:

  1. Tempt you with an offer that sounds both attractive and plausible at the same time.  Note that these aren’t grants for $500 (who cares) or for $1,000,000 (totally unlikely).  They’re for an amount that seems possible, yet still enough to pique your interest.
  2. When you click through, you’re greeted by a single squeeze page site with a testimonial by Daniel Hynes or Jeff Donahue or Jake Cutler, now today it’s Cory Mathews.  They all look virtually identical on sites like jeffgetsgrants.com or jakecutler.com or kevingotgreen.com, and now just today coreyhasmoney.com.  As if these people went and setup single page sites just so that you, (the poor mark), might get a nice fat check from the government for doing nothing, just like the say they did!
  3. There are lots of comments on the page, making it look like a normal blog page.  However, if you look closer, you’ll notice that there isn’t actually any place on the page to enter a comment!
  4. Even better, just recently they’ve added fake ads on the page that look like Google Adwords ads.  Click on any of them and you get sent directly to the scam page.  There are only two ways off the coreyhasmoney.com site, either hit your back button, or click on any of the different looking links to go directly to the scam.
  5. They’re also getting lazy.  On the Cory Mathews site, the picute of the grant check has the name Jeffrey Donahue photoshopped onto it!
  6. Note that the grant kit only costs $1.99 and the testimonial really pushes that fact.  What’s $1.99 when you’ll be getting $15,000 or $45,000!  You’d be an idiot to worry about such a small sum in order to gain such riches!
  7. There are no other links on the page other than the ones to the “great” offer, one of the origins of the term “squeeze page” that you have no other way off the page and are squeezed down to the offer.

So you click through and you’re brought to earncashfromgrants.com or grant-access-club.com, now today it’s www.federalgovernmentgrantsolutions.com.  The sites change every couple of days to avoid the people who have caught on to the scam.  Now the alarm bells should REALLY start going off, but somehow don’t for most people.  I’ll apologize if you’re one of the poor folks that fell for this and are now looking to get out of it.  Want to know some FOOLPROOF methods to tell if any random Internet offer is a scam or not?

  1. If there is a little talking torso in the corner of your browser that doesn’t go away when you scroll RUN FOR THE HILLS!   You’re about to be scammed.
  2. If it is a Timed Offer and you only have 9 minutes or 3 minutes 15 seconds to complete the offer.  Hurry!  You’re about to be scammed.

So you scroll through all the glowing testimonial bullcrap and get to the bottom where your asked a bunch of questions like marital status, current income level, employment status, etc.  All this is intended to get you to believe that you’re getting some special treatment, that you *qualify* for this great offer!  Note, it doesn’t matter what you enter in for this part, everyone gets to feel all special.

Then the kicker comes.  For only $1.99 or $1.95 you get the free kit!  Most people don’t scroll down far enough to see the fine print at the bottom of the page.  If they did they would see this:


Or this:


What is *REALLY* amazing is how many people must be falling for this.  The earncashfromgrants.com site has an Alexa rank of 35,000 and has only been around since November of 2008 according to Alexa.  It’s one week rank is around 6,500, which means they are getting thousands of hits daily if not tens of thousands, likely converting hundreds of those hits into poor folks (hopefully not you, if so, I’m sorry) inadvertently coughing $40-60 for this junk, many of whom probably don’t even cancel the first month and might get taken for $100 or more.  That’s likely $5000-$10,000 A DAY they’re scamming hard working people out of, and all they need a website and a live operator over in India to get yelled at by people trying in vain to get a refund or cancel their “subscription”

It’s no wonder why these ads are everywhere.

What do you get for the $1.99 plus the hidden $58.61 charge?  A tired old report on government grants, or nothing as some people have reported not being able to even log into the site they give after they have paid.

It’s going to take the Feds months or years to track down and stop these people, and even if they do, once they take it, you’ll never see the money they took from you again.  The only thing to do is warn everyone you can not to fall for it.

Here is what you can do to help:

  1. Click Here to Share this on Facebook! Hit “Post to Profile” to warn you friends and loved ones.
  2. Use the “Share This” link below to Digg or Twitter or Stumble or Reddit or whatever service you use to share this so that other people might see it before they get scammed too!
  3. File a Complaint to the ICCC (Internet Crime Complaint Center) at ic3.gov.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

B.Mathaison February 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the tip. I was seriously considering it, $2 seemd worth it. Saved me a lot of time and trouble I think.

M. Drescher February 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

Thanks so much! I almost fell for this when I saw it promoted by a “stay-at-home Christian mom.” When I saw the Jeff Donahue site w/too many similiarities, including the green border at the top of the page and same picture of the check – I thought, “Yeah, but what’s in it for them?! Why are they promoting this and what are they getting for doing it? Something’s not right!” So I prayed, and got the idea to googled “Jeff Donahue government grants” and found your site. Praise God – He’s got my back! Thanks for exposing the truth!

Alan Gebel February 24, 2009 at 9:56 am

It’s not just this one but there literally seems to be hundreds of people like this on the internet or on TV infomercials and they all feed into the same human frailties( people want something for nothing) .These vultures( I would like to have them all imprisoned) would not be in business if people would just think a little and remember the simple saying” If it sounds too good to be true” It probably is

spencer thompson February 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I have been seeing these type of things for years. People just need to keep in mind that if it looks to good to be true IT IS!!!

I’m not sure why Facebook has not done something about this but i suggest to anyone who has been tricked into this or something like this (the GOOGLE SCAM) they should report this to Facebook to have them implement policies to change this

Mark February 25, 2009 at 7:55 pm

This is nothing new. Look at this scam. firstplusplatinumoffer.com It offers you credit but it tricks you into buying a bunch of recurring charges too. Same as your example above. The problem is the government doesn’t do anything. They want us to be scammed so these companies make alot of money and then they will finally raid them and take all their money years later, if they still exist. This is jsut another way the government screws common people.

Biff February 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Forget Facebook not screening these bogus ads, I keep seeing them in Yahoo mail! And how dumb are people anyway? None of the Obama aid money is going to individuals, it’s all going to states and organizations.

Serge February 26, 2009 at 1:19 pm

I immediately thought this was a scam, because the so-called “blog” had no “Post a comment” section. Do a quick Google search before becoming a victim of a scam!

Andy February 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Wow. People are so silly. I have been marking these as offensive since they first popped up. If there is a quick way to make money chances are that it will not be advertised so intensely.

Rob March 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Listen its like fishing folks, No one But, no one is going to share where the honey hole is. Because face it. Why in the world would anyone want to help you out. If you found a gold mine would you holler I found gold. Hell No. face it, your on your own. Now you have been told the truth.

Digital Diva March 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm

WOW! YEAH! I clicked through a google ad sense avertisment -read the page then googled the URL to find this page. Went to Yahoo to check my mail and there was a hugh side ad with a different URL. I clicked through and here…see for yourself.
Yep! it’s the same photo of Ben Karlson who lives in Nevada City, California and Jeff Donahue. When you scroll down the page it’s the same photos of he and the wife…..One would think a scam artist would be a bit more clever and insert new text and for sure NEW photos.

Digital Diva March 1, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Here is the domain name info

Visit AboutUs.org for more information about JEFFRYSGRANTBLOG.COM

Registration Service Provided By: Site5 LLC
Contact: hostmaster@site5.com
Visit: http://www.site5.com


Registrant Contact:

Liam Riley ()

301 Patrick Street
Hobart, Tasmania 7018

Administrative Contact:

Private Registration (admin@jeffrysgrantblog.com)
143 Downhill Road
Phoenix, AZ 93842

Technical Contact:

Private Registration (admin@jeffrysgrantblog.com)
143 Downhill Road
Phoenix, AZ 93842

Status: Locked

Name Servers:

Creation date: 13 Feb 2009 21:08:41
Expiration date: 13 Feb 2010 21:08:41

Digital Diva March 1, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Here’s info for bengetscash.com Listed with GODADDY

Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Created on: 24-Feb-09
Expires on: 24-Feb-10
Last Updated on: 24-Feb-09

Administrative Contact:
Private, Registration BENGETSCASH.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax — (480) 624-2598

Technical Contact:
Private, Registration BENGETSCASH.COM@domainsbyproxy.com
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax — (480) 624-2598

Domain servers in listed order:

admin March 1, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Note that those registrations posted by Digital Diva aren’t the information for the owner of those sites, that’s just the registration information for the proxy and privacy services they are hiding their registrations behind.

whaa March 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm


Heather March 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm

I got scammed? I’m smart, college educated, how could it happen? I’ll tell you why…because I’m a grants professional, and I KNOW that government grant listings are free and should be free because it’s public information, like OMB circulars and the like. However, I thought, well it’s fair to charge S and H. I never thought they would hit me with these recurrent ‘subscription fees’ for services I did not order! I saw the first charge today, canceled my card (this was Jeff’s Grants Blog, who is the dweeb they have a photo of?). I have now read that they operate out of India and Pakistan, is that correct.

i don’t NEED to tell you that they don’t answer their 1800 number.

I feel stupid, but why is Google and Facebook allowing this? TO be honest, I don’t feel so stupid, because I thought it was just a free listing of publicly available grants, witha lot of hoopla jargon for the dumb folks.



Susan April 1, 2009 at 11:40 am

Hi There Heather,
If you read this, my name is Susan Schafer and I am very interested in hearing your story. I can be contacted at scha0119@algonquincellege.com. You could privately send me your number and I could give you a call.
Or for anyone else reading this that has been scammed, the same deal.
Any help is much appreciated!

Eduard Dawson April 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Sad thing is, people are likely to just jump the quick cash bandwagon because money is scarce and so are the chances for it. So once they see something inviting, it’s likely they’d jump it because they’re using someone reputable to ‘advertise’ -Obama at that!- and then some other John Smiths and Jane Does that god only knows if they truly exist.

Grants and all info pertaining to them are for free. Even the grant itself is for free.

But it’s the no free lunch principle here. You can’t get anything from nothing. Sure you get free grants but there is an appropriate exchange for it: usually something from your end to give back to the community.

I hope more get to read about this so they don’t fall for these obvious phonies.

Eduard Dawson

Phil May 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I do see these ads quite often on Facebook and I should admit they’re very convincing. Glad to know now that one shouldn’t easily fall pray to ads. Thanks for the heads up.

George October 22, 2010 at 4:04 am

This kind of ads are everywhere robbing people of their hard-earned money. If only people will use some sense and think that the offer is too good to be true.

Maybelle Vanson February 7, 2011 at 4:44 am

hey i have seen that your site Doesnt appear clearly When opening with chrome beta .hope you will clear the Error ,next to this is that i really praise ur posts

Phil October 21, 2011 at 3:29 am

Facebook is not a scam, but there is no point to advertise on that platform.
Same goes with twitter.
Most of the people there are not trying to buy anything, and the majority of people on Facebook are college students with no money.

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