Bogus notifications of the grants have occurred in Ohio more than a dozen times since early June, via e-mail, letter or phone call. In a public statement, the state attorney general's office noted many of the phone calls originated in the Washington D.C. 202 area code, adding to the scam's "illusion of legitimacy."
The attorney general's office gives the following guidance on official-sounding scams:
- To determine a letter's legitimacy, contact the agency from phone numbers found on the agency's official web site, not those provided in the notice.
- Be wary of any check received in the mail -- especially if letters ask that a portion of the money be wired elsewhere.