Skip to main content
NIH Logo NIH Logo

Office of Research Services

Serving the NIH Community

NIH Visiting Program Scientists

Visiting Program Scientists

Scams and Harassment

Avoid Scams

Every year, DIS hears reports of foreign national in the United States falling victim to scams. Scammers often target foreign nationals who are not as familiar with U.S. systems. Scammers often have some personal information already, which makes it easy to believe them. You may receive a phone call, email, or visit a website that seems legitimate, but is an attempt to steal money or get more of your personal or organizational information.

Take time to educate yourself so that you can recognize and avoid scams. For information on common immigration scams, visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Avoid Scams webpage.

Tips for identifying phone scams:​

  • The caller uses high-pressure tactics to try to get what they want, threatening things like deportation and arrest, and will not let you leave the call to consult with DIS or an attorney
  • The caller asks or demands money or personal information
  • The caller claims to be from a government organization, such as USCIS, the IRS, or a court. These organizations do not typically call foreign nationals directly!
  • Refer to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Phone Scams page for more information

If you are unsure whether something is a scam:

  • ​Immediately disengage with the website, or hang up the phone call
  • Contact DIS to describe the situation and receive assistance in identifying if it is legitimate or a scam

Additional scam-related guidance:


Please tell DIS about any possible scams you encounter so that we can help keep our community informed.

Revised 06/2023

DIS Info

​​​Service Hours:
9:00AM - 4:00PM ET

Non-FTE Check-In/EOD:
Monday By 11:30am (​in local time zone of lab)
Submit Remotely
Advising Services:
Drop-Ins and Appointments​
Document Pickup:
By Appointment
J-1/J-2 Travel Signature Requests:​
Submit Remotely
Badge Validation:
Submit Remotely