Scam Impersonates NEH

Be Aware of False Claims of NEH Grant Winners and False “Requests for Proposals” 

WASHINGTON, (March 20, 2020)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a federal grantmaking agency, is committed to suppressing several ongoing scam attempts being perpetrated through Facebook, texting, telephone, email, and other mediums. These scams involve impostors claiming to represent NEH directly or using hacked social media accounts to portray themselves as friends or family who have allegedly won “cash grants.”   

Scams involving false portrayal of NEH employees may come in two forms: an impostor claiming to be an NEH “agent” who promises “cash grants,” or an impostor claiming to represent NEH’s purchasing office seeking “Requests for Proposals” from commercial vendors. Both methods use email, Facebook Messenger, and other mediums to contact potential victims and elicit responses and eventual transmission of money or gift cards. Please be advised that both these types of approaches are scams. 

NEH and its employees will never ask you to send money to receive a grant or other forms of financial assistance. Nor will NEH and its employees ever ask you to wire money or add money to a prepaid debit or gift card to pay for associated processing or delivery fees. 

NEH does not use Facebook or text to contact individuals concerning grant awards. If the name on the Facebook account is familiar to you (such as a friend or NEH employee), the scammer has created the account to impersonate someone you know in order to initiate and support this fraudulent scheme.  Do not provide any personal information or send money to anyone claiming to be an NEH employee. 

Scam Involving Hacked Social Media Accounts of Friends or Family 

An additional scamming method that NEH has collected information on is the use of hacked social media accounts to distribute messages falsely claiming to have won “cash grants” or other financial assistance from NEH. Often these methods use social media accounts of friends or family, creating confusion and using trust to manipulate people into responding. Please be aware that NEH does not distribute “cash grants” as financial assistance and that all current grant offerings can be found at www.neh.gov/grants/listing 

If someone purporting to be an NEH employee has contacted you through Facebook, please report  the incident to Facebook so that it can remove the fraudulent account.  

In addition, you may report the incident to NEH’s Office of Inspector General at 1-877-786-7598 or via email at  @email.  You may also report it to the Federal Trade Commission at  https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation at  http://www.ic3.gov.  

Please take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Resources:

NEH Facebook page – This is the official NEH Facebook page, which has been verified by Facebook.

How to Recognize a Government Imposter -  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0048-government-imposter-scams

Media Contacts:
Paula Wasley: (202) 606-8424 | media@neh.gov