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Phoenix woman confined to wheelchair ripped off in 'Grant Scam'

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The so called "Grant Scam" has been around for a while. It starts with a phone call saying the victim qualifies for a sizable amount of money. The problem is the victim has to pay to get the money.

"I use my scooter and get around, and get what I need to get, but I'm unable to do the walking that I used to do. For the last year I've been confined into my wheelchair." 

Despite some health challenges and a pretty limited income, JudyKay Burfield said her faith keeps her going strong.

"I live with the feeling that the good lord never promised you a rose garden. He never promised you that life is going to be sweet and rosy and all your life. You're going to have trials," said Burfield.

But Burfield thought things might be looking up at least financially and it all started with a phone call. She didn't know it at the time, but the caller was a con man. "I get this phone call that you qualify for a free grant. And you're going to get $5,000 for this free grant."

To get the money, she simply had to go to a store like Walmart, pick up a MoneyPak Green Dot money card and put $250 on to it. That amount, she was told, was supposed to cover processing fees. 

After following the scam-artist's instructions, she then scratched off the code found on the back of the card and provided that number to the crook.

Burfield said, "It's close to when I'm getting my social security. I usually get it about the third of the month. So I figured, I can pay that and then I'll get my grant. And I'll be able to pay my rent. So I figure, things go smoothly and I'll be alright."

Apparently it went a little too smoothly because the con man called Burfield back with another sack of lies. Burfield went on to describe that phone call: "Now you qualify for a $10,000 grant! But it's going to cost you $750 more for this company that's going to handle the processing."

Unfortunately Burfield was duped again. She put $750 on another MoneyPak Green Dot Card and let the scam-artist have access to it. 

After realizing she just spent nearly $1,000 Burfield got to thinking; 

"I'm going, 'Wait a minute. Why is it costing me to get this so-called free grant?'" 

That's when she realized she had just become a victim Burfield said.

"Besides being a fool, hey, I'm 66 years old. I'm entitled to be a fool sometimes. You do. You feel like a stupid idiot, because you know better," said Burfield.

Desperate to get her money back Burfield spent hours trying to call the con man, to let him know, she couldn't afford this kind of financial hit.

"I would take and, every day I'd call them. And I'd tell them who I was and that I want my money back. 'Oh, we can't help you.' click and I pestered them every day for a couple of weeks until, sorry but the number is no longer in service."

Always keep in if you're ever asked to load cash on to one of those MoneyPak Green Dot cards or any other card, you're most likely getting scammed, so don't do it. 


Click here For more information about the "Grant Scam."


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