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National Institute of Health Warns of New Phone Scam

Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)
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File photo of a person holding a cellphone. (Photo by Jean Sebastien/AFP/Getty)

Photo: Jean Sebastien/AFP/Getty

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The National Institute of Health is warning there’s a new phone scam afoot, with the caller claiming to be from the U.S. Department of Health with good news for you.

In St. Louis, Frank Absher got a call saying he was about to be awarded a federal grant of about $3,000.

“It had to do with the fact that I’d qualified because of my economic situation, because my credit record is good and all this sort of stuff, which of course is a bunch of hooey,” he says.

Absher says the caller, who had a foreign-sounding accent, offered to send the money directly to his bank account or to his home.

At that point, Absher got off the phone.

He says he also asked for the name of the government program, and the caller would not provide a specific name.

“The government doesn’t go around giving out $3,000 for no reason,” Absher says.

The National Institute of Health says it’s a scam.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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