Homeland Security warns of scammers targeting immigrants by pretending to be feds and demanding money, personal info

Homeland Security warns of scammers targeting immigrants by pretending to be feds and demanding money, personal info

Originally published by LA Times

Scammers are using U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) telephone numbers to trick people across the country into releasing personal information and sending money in a scheme that particularly targets immigrants.

The DHS Office of Inspector General issued a fraud alert of the so-called telephone spoofing campaign, the “deliberate falsifying of information transmitted to a caller ID display to disguise an identity,” the agency explained in a statement.

“The perpetrators of the scam represent themselves as employees with ‘U.S. Immigration’ or other government entities,” DHS said. “They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from the DHS HQ Operator number or the DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) number. The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft.”

But they’re not stopping there. The nefarious scammers “also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods,” DHS said. “The scammers have also emailed victims from email addresses ending in ‘uscis.org.’ Many of the scammers reportedly have pronounced accents.”

DHS said it’s investigating and reminded the public that the agency does not reach out on immigration matters in this way.

“Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information,” DHS said, adding that it’s safe to place calls to DHS and CRCL numbers.

“Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this telephone spoofing scam is urged to call,” DHS said, or to file a complaint on the department’s website.

Read more:https://www.latimes.com/ny-news-scam-immigration-homeland-security-extortion-money-information-20190304-story.html

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