DHS warns of phone and email scam

5 Mar 19

UNITED STATES

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General has issued a fraud alert warning of a telephone and email scam. The scheme involves individuals who pose as law enforcement or immigration officials who seek to either obtain personal information by telling the victim that their identity has been stolen or collect payments by threatening individuals with arrest unless they pay fines using various payment methods.

Key points:

  • DHS does not make calls of this nature and individuals receiving such calls should not provide any personal information.
  • The scam involves spoofing of DHS’ headquarters operator number (202-282-8000) and the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties number (202-401-1474), so the calls may appear to be legitimate. Also, scammers often already have some personal details of their victims that can make the calls and the callers appear official.
  • The scam also involves emails from addresses ending in uscis.org, rather than the official uscis.gov address.

BAL Analysis: Scams targeting immigrants have become common around the world, and some scams target immigrants in particular by spoofing official phone numbers and impersonating immigration authorities. Individuals receiving such calls should hang up and not provide any person information. Victims of scams may call the DHS OIG hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint on the agency’s website and with the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-382-4357).

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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