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National Growth Funding Inc. earns an 'F' for failing to meet standards

Oct. 9, 2010 at 5:09 a.m.


By Alan Bligh

Looking for a grant? Proceed with caution. BBB has issued an F rating to National Growth Funding Inc. for failure to respond to customer disputes. As a result, the company's BBB Accreditation was revoked for failure to meet the BBB Standards of Accreditation. The San Antonio-based Company offers business consulting, grant writing and grant finding services to organizations nationwide.

Before paying money for assistance in earning government grants, BBB offers the following advice: Start with trust. Always check out a company's BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org. It pays to be skeptical. Generally speaking, obtaining a grant is a complicated process, requiring documentation and research. A great source for information on grants may be found at www. grants.gov. This site has info on both government and private grants.

USE CAUTION WHEN BUYING ONLINE

We have often discussed Craigslist and other similar sites. You may be tired of hearing about the problems, but those problems keep coming. There are certainly deals to be found online, but it's good for both buyers and sellers to remember they're usually dealing with people unfamiliar to them. Here are some basic tips from the BBB in regard to using sites like Craigslist:

Try to deal with local buyers and sellers.

Never wire funds.

Use caution when using an escrow service. Make sure it's reputable by checking them out at www.bbb.org.

Never give out your Social Security number or other personal financial information.

Don't apply for jobs that require a payment.

Check out and inspect any apartment or home rental thoroughly in person before money is put down.

When it's time for a meeting to complete a transaction, remember to set up the meeting during daytime hours and in a public place. Consider bringing a friend or family member with you if you have safety concerns.

Also watch out for these red flags that you may be dealing with a schemer:

The buyer or seller is from another country.

The buyer or seller will not meet with you and will only communicate via e-mail.

The buyer overpays and asks you to wire the extra funds back to him/her.

If you're the seller, consider using an escrow service. If you're buying an item, don't pay with cash if the item is more than $100. Pay with a cashier's check and let the seller know in advance you're paying with a cashier's check.

Alan Bligh is the executive director of the Better Business Bureau in Corpus Christi. Contact him by e-mail at abligh@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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