The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that it has settled a complaint with a marketing group called Grant Connect, which made claims that consumers could use the service to get free government grants.
The FTC won a $29.8 million judgement against the group, which was also ordered to stop marketing or selling products related to grants, credit, work-from-home opportunities or dietary supplements. The group was also banned from using opt-out marketing programs (consumers must explicitly choose to participate), testimonials or anything that charges consumers’ debit accounts.
Earlier this year, the FTC settled with other defendants in this case on similar allegations, also for $29.8 million.
The agency has some tips for how to avoid similar scams on its Web site. Those who get advertisements promising free grants should know that the only official access point for government grants is www.grants.gov and check that the advertisement is using the correct name for the agency.