May 13, 2010, Memphis, TN - Several local businesses have contacted the Better Business Bureau about an unsolicited robo-call regarding an event being held Saturday, May 15 at the Hilton Hotel. The call invites business owners to a free community meeting” purporting to show them how to get their part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus money. Business owners receiving the call questioned the legitimacy of the event.
The email confirmation received by businesses has no company identification on it, only a toll-free phone number. We contacted the company and spoke to two representatives who identified the company as American Funding Institute out of Las Vegas, NV. BBB files contain no information on this company.
American Funding Institute’s representatives were very vague about the requirements for obtaining this stimulus money, very vague about what the money is to be used for, very vague about how much money is available and very vague about the organizations and companies that are promoting and will be present at the event.
According to the email, to attend the event business owners need to bring a business check, a copy of their business license and a photo ID. The Better Business Bureau cannot determine if this is a legitimate offer. Businesses are encouraged to proceed with caution and be wary of giving company financial information to unknown parties.