SCAM ALERT: BBB alerts public about grant scams targeting small businesses after Hurricane Ida

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana is warning the public about grants that are targeting local small businesses after the devastation left by Hurricane Ida.

You get a call, email, or text message from someone who claims to be from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or another government agency. The scammer is allegedly reaching out, as part of the official Assistance program for local small businesses affected by Hurricane Ida. 

The caller states that the grant is for $15,000 and it does not have to be paid back. However, they are directed to purchase a Walmart cash card for $250, to pay for processing the grant.

BBB offers these tips on how you can spot a grant scam:

  • Remember: Government agencies do not communicate through social media avenues like Facebook. And be aware of unsolicited messages.
  • Do NOT pay any money for a ‘free’ government grant: If you have to pay money to claim a ‘free’ grant, it is not really free. A real government agency will not ask you to pay an advanced processing fee. The only official list of all U.S. federal grant-making agencies is www.grants.gov
  • Do your research: See if that government agency or organization actually exists. Find their contact info and call them to make sure it’s legitimate.

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