Don't Trust Companies That Promise Government Grants and Loans

News Release

Competition Bureau Issues Warning to Consumers

March 18, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

Consumers should be extremely wary of companies that charge for information on government grants and loans, or guarantee that government funds can be obtained easily with their help.

These companies also tend to masquerade as government departments using names that seem real.

This is a scam. Canadian government departments or agencies generally don't charge for information on its programs and no one can guarantee government grants and loans.

Consumers are advised to closely examine ads and websites. Take time to do some research before subscribing to newsletters, sending money or giving credit card or bank account details. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t get a direct answer, this could be a sign that you are being scammed.

Remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Common features of government grants and loans scams include:

  • Displaying a real-looking government website and/or a name that sounds like a government department;
  • Charging a fee to access information about government funding programs;
  • Claiming or giving the impression that they can provide consumers with special access to government funding programs;
  • Claiming or giving the impression that government funding is guaranteed; and
  • Posting numerous success stories of consumers who did not actually use their services.

Consumers are reminded that:

  • Federal, provincial and municipal governments generally do not charge a fee for information on their programs, including grants and loans;
  • Private companies play no role in the approval process for government grants or loans; and
  • No one can guarantee government grants or loans.

Consumers who believe they have been scammed or misled should contact the Bureau's Information Centre at 1‑800‑348‑5358, or visit the Bureau's website to file a complaint. Businesses and consumers can also contact the Canadian Anti‑Fraud Centre at 1‑888‑495‑8501, or visit its website.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-5945

For general enquiries, please contact:
Information Centre
Competition Bureau
Telephone: 819-997-4282
Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
TTY (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844
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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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