Advantage America representatives contact consumers by telephone (both landline and cellular), claiming the individual is qualified to receive a government sponsored grant for a one-time fee of $49.95. The incoming phone number is often programmed to appear local on caller identification systems. After obtaining bank account and social security numbers, the fee is withdrawn, but promised grant moneys are never deposited into the individual’s account. This appears to be another offshore advance fee scam.
The website, advantageamericabenefits.com, lists an address in Winter Park, Florida. According to the Better Business Bureau, the address is an empty suite, and all mail is forwarded to a West Indies location on the island of Saint Lucia. The website also contains information regarding discounted medical services.
The Better Business Bureau has received 199 complaints against Advantage America to date. The BBB’s website reports that the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office has issued a Cease & Desist Order against Firstnationalgrant.com, another name used by Advantage America. The Cease & Desist Order lists the following, additional AKAs for Advantage America: First National Benefits, First Government Grants, First National Health Care, Titan Financial, First National Government Grants, AIG Limited, Premier Health Benefits, First National Health Care Limited, and First National Benefits.
Victims in Washington State should report their experiences to the Office of the Attorney General at http://atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx, and the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.