IDS/GRANTS / TOOK MONEY OUT MY ACCOUNT
Here is some advice to those that have been took by IDS GRANTS.
This company sells grant information via various online ads and websites. The information is offered with a 100% money back guarantee on a 7 day trial offer. The company initially asks for a credit card or bank account number to pay for shipping and handling costs for a CD ($1.99) which goes with the trial offer on the website, www.grantoneday.org. The website implies that the government grant money available is due to governments's stimulus plan. The 7 day trial is offered to consumers with a negative option cancellation clause which is not prominently displayed on the website, but is included in the website terms and conditions.
With a negative option cancellation clause, unless the buyer cancels within the 7 day trial, products and services are sent to consumers unsolicited, and unauthorized charges appear on credit cards. Usually, materials sent with the product or service will allow a specified time period for cancellation and return without penalty or obligation. However, many overlook the advisory, and are unaware of the charge until their next monthly credit card statement. In some cases, consumers find they are unable to contact the company to arrange returns or ask for credit. Most credit card issuers will allow the cardholder 60 days to dispute an unauthorized or inaccurate charge. Review your monthly statement carefully. If you discover a charge which is unfamiliar, investigate and dispute the amount with your card issuer as soon as possible to protect yourself from making unwanted purchases.
Often, you can unknowingly join a plan simply by accepting an introductory offer of merchandise or services. Continuity plans may offer an introductory "free trial period" to let you check out the merchandise or service and decide whether to join the plan. If you keep the merchandise beyond the free trial period or fail to cancel the service within the free trial period, not only must you pay, you automatically become a plan member. Joining a continuity plan means you agree to the plan's sales method as long as you're a member. You'll automatically get periodic shipments of merchandise or delivery of services. You won't get any announcements or rejection forms before each shipment or service period. The shipments or services continue until you cancel your membership.
Sellers must give you information about the plan's terms and conditions, clearly and conspicuously, in their promotional materials. These terms may include; that you become a member if you accept the introductory merchandise or initial round of services, unless you cancel; or that periodic delivery of merchandise or services will occur - with no further action on your part; and will continue until cancellation is received. It also must disclose a description of the merchandise or services you agree to buy, say whether there's a minimum purchase, and how often you'll receive the products or services. An explanation of the plan's billing procedure for each shipment or period of service must also be provided, as well as the terms of the plan's refund or return policy; how and when you can cancel your membership; and the price of the goods or services if you fail to cancel, including shipping and handling, if applicable.
We advise careful consideration if you are thinking about responding to ads for "free" grant money. Our experience with similar offers has been that companies placing government grant ads, have no affiliation with the government, but rather, are third parties attempting to capitalize on information that can be obtained for free from government agencies or websites. For example, The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) disseminates information upon request and via their website, on grants and loans entitled, “The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. You can obtain the information for free by calling the DHHS local office, or visit their website at www.aspe.os.dhhs.gov. Government grants are not designed to provide a means for you to pay your bills or have extra spending money. Generally, obtaining a grant is a complicated process requiring documentation and research, and is primarily for education, research, and business purposes. Although foundations may exist whose requirements are based on personal preference, the vast majority requires applicants to meet very specific guidelines they have established to even qualify.