August 13, 2022

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A disabled vet and his wife are out thousands of dollars after thinking they were getting a government grant.

Mark Yates spent 22 years in the Air Force, retiring out on a disability.

He recently joined Facebook to try and keep up with old colleagues.

“I’m not used to Facebook,” said Yates. “I haven’t been on it long.”

Earlier this month, he got a Facebook message from a person who he thought was an old friend and colleague.

“He popped up and said ‘I’ve got a great deal. You can have a government grant, free money and you don’t have to pay it back,’” said Yates.

The friend claimed he received $30,000 within 24 hours of applying to a so-called “government agent” via messenger.

He gave Yates the contact info for the “agent” on messenger.

So, Yates applied for $50,000 via messenger after texting with the man through Facebook.

The “agent” told him to obtain $50,000, Yates would need to pay a $3,000 processing fee.

Yates said he didn’t personally fill out any information for the grant.

Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia asked Yates if he found it suspicious that no one asked him to fill out paperwork for a government grant.

“I didn’t feel that way, because I had faith in my friend,” said Yates. “He did it and it went through.”

Yates sent a $3,000 wire transfer to pay the so-called grant processing fee.

“We wait and wait and wait and then he gets back…

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