The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a fraud alert notifying the public of an ongoing phone scam whereby scammers dupe their victims into providing personal information and money. According to DHS, the callers scramble the caller ID information to make it look as though the calls are coming from DHS and then pretend to be employees with “U.S. immigration” or other law enforcement agencies. The scammers use a variety of tactics to get information from their victims, including claims of identity theft that require verification of personal information and threats of arrest if payments are not made. Scammers have also communicated via email addresses ending in “uscis.org,” as opposed to the correct “uscis.gov.”
Phone scams involving criminals who impersonate U.S. immigration officers have been occurring for several years. DHS says it is continuing to investigate the issue and encourages anyone who believes he or she may have been a victim to call the DHS OIG hotline at 1-800-323-8603 or file a complaint at www.oig.dhs.gov.