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Scam Alert: Woman says she was scammed out of $1,600 when applying for grant

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A Benton woman is out of $1,600 after she says she applied for a grant online only to later realize she was being scammed.

That’s when she called Seven On Your Side.

Bobbie White, a mother of 6 and online student, says the trouble started with a pop-up ad on Facebook for education grants. White said she filled out several surveys online and moments later, she got a call from an agency who only identified themselves as federal grants.

“A man called me and claimed for me to have been accepted to get a grant for almost $10,000,” said White.

The representative on the other line, who identified himself as Jason Sanchez, informed White she was eligible for a $10,000 grant. But in order to receive her money, she had to pay a security deposit through iTunes gift cards.

“They told me that Apple was sponsoring it and through giving them the iTunes numbers off the back of the cards, that’s how they get it,” said White.

White tells KATV she paid the money and now, nearly $1,600 dollars later, the only thing she has is a hole in her pocket and a cautionary tale.

“Of course red flags should have popped up. Right now we don’t have gifts under the tree. It has affected us that hard,” said White.

Another red flag in this case: the representative known as Jason Sanchez had a phone number registered through Google.

When KATV called Sanchez and questioned him about his business, he hung up on us.

White has filed a report with the Benton Police Department.

According to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, in most cases, no state or federal grant should ever cost money.

The Arkansas Attorney General’s office tells KATV they are aware of online grant scams.

If you would like to help the White family, they have set up a GoFundMe page here.

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