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Scammers impersonate the National Institutes of Health

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Consumers are reporting another government imposter scam – this time the scammers are pretending to be calling from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to reports, callers are telling people they’ve been selected to receive a $14,000 grant from NIH. To get it, though, callers tell people to pay a fee through an iTunes or Green Dot card, or by giving their bank account number.

If you get a call like this from someone asking you to pay money to get money, stop. Hang up the phone. The federal government will not call you to give you a grant. NIH does give grants to researchers, but they have to apply for them, and those grants are for public purposes, not for personal use.

Also, the federal government will never call you, demanding that you give your personal or financial information – like your bank account or Social Security number. Has a caller ever asked you to wire money, cash a check they send you (and send them money), or use a prepaid card to pay someone? Those are all red flags. Nobody legitimate – and certainly not the government – will ever ask you to pay in any of those ways.

For more tips on avoiding government grant scams, check out NIH’s handy guide. Did you send money to an NIH imposter? Get in touch right away with whoever you used to send the money (your bank, MoneyGram, Western Union, iTunes…) and report the fraud. You might not get your money back, but you certainly won’t if you don’t report it. And then tell the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I am getting messages from a relative on Facebook. The scammer is posing as her trying to get me interested in this.

For $ 500. 00 they will give me $ 50,000. Or better for $1,500.00 they will send $ 150,000. Very convincing. Sharon Medlin and agent Frank Smith . They keep texting.

Just called me, certainly no legit,,wanted money to receive money

I was asked to purchase a $250 Google Play Card from a so called government grant for $14,750 claiming I had to register with the card. I’m not sending money to a scammer. The name of the so called officer was James Williams badge #36284902. The address was from Bethesda 9000 Rockville Pike and the numbers were 4432819388 and 4434616204. I believe this is a scam beware

she sent me this.
I was just wondering if you have heard about the Federal Benefit Payment and the National Institute of Health(NIH) grant program
It's a world grant humanitarian financial assistance program assistance paying for bills, buying a home, starting a business of your choice, going to school, or even helping raise their children with old, retired and disable people. Thought you are aware of it
I buy and sells antiques and textiles material. I invested more in my business when I got that $90,000.00 from the government. I can link you up with the Government Agent who help me with mine. You also might be lucky.

OMG! I tell her my email address

I have had two scammed messages through fB messenger from ‘friends’ who have received thousands of dollars by paying $2k upfront. I believe their fB messenger accounts were hacked & taken over by scammers. Anyone else w/similar approach?

Yes same scenario I posted a comment explaining it. The more recent comments on here didn't show up at first.


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