Small World Map

News

Beware of IRS and Immigration Scam Calls
Beware of IRS and Immigration Scam Calls

Click on an image to view a larger or high-resolution version

Back to news

Beware of IRS and Immigration Scam Calls

Posted By: Meg Elizabeth Dedyne    Published: Friday, 28 Apr 2017

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a fraud alert on April 19, 2017, to warn the public about a scam using the DHS OIG hotline telephone number. Scammers have identified themselves as "U.S. Immigration" employees and have altered their caller ID to seem like the call is coming from the DHS OIG hotline (1-800-323-8603). They then demand that the individual provide or verify personally identifiable information, often by telling individuals that they are victims of identity theft.

Read the DHS OIG fraud alert for more details.

If a Scammer Calls You
If you receive a call demanding personal information or payment, hang up immediately. If you want to verify whether a call is from USCIS, you may:

  • Call our National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to ask if you need to do anything about your case or immigration status,
  • Make an InfoPass appointment at http://infopass.uscis.gov, or
  • Use myUSCIS to find up-to-date information about your application.
    Remember, USCIS officials will never threaten you or ask for payment over the phone or in an email. If we need payment, we will mail a letter on official stationery requesting payment. Do not give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official. In general, we encourage you to protect your personal information and not to provide details about your immigration application in any public area.

How to Report a Call from a Scammer
If you receive a scam email or phone call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at http://1.usa.gov/1suOHSS. If you are not sure if it is a scam, forward the suspicious email to the USCIS webmaster at uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov. USCIS will review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate. Visit the Avoid Scams Initiative at www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams for more information on common scams and other important tips.

IRS Scam Calls

You get a call from someone who says she's from the IRS. She says that you owe back taxes. She threatens to sue you, arrest or deport you, or revoke your license if you don't pay right away. She tells you to put money on a prepaid debit card and give her the card numbers. The caller may know part of your Social Security number. And your caller ID might show a Washington, DC area code. But is it really the IRS calling?

No. The real IRS won't ask you to pay with prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. They also won't ask for a credit card over the phone. And when the IRS first contacts you about unpaid taxes, they do it by mail, not by phone. And caller IDs can be faked.

Here's what you can do:
1. Stop. Don't wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card. Once you send it, the money is gone. If you have tax questions, go to irs.gov or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
2. Pass this information on to a friend. You may not have gotten one of these calls, but the chances are you know someone who has.

Please Report Scams
If you spot a scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Report a scam online or call the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or TTY 1-866-653-4261. Your complaint can help protect other people. By filing a complaint, you can help the FTC's investigators identify the imposters and stop them before they can get someone's hard-earned money. It really makes a difference.

 

Tags: bewareofscams