Immigration officials in the US warning over latest scam

by Ray Clancy on February 3, 2014

Officials in the United States have issued a warning about a new telephone scam that is targeting immigrants with threats of deportation.

The scammer poses as an official from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and requests personal information such as social security number or a passport number. The caller then says there are problems with the person’s immigration records and asks for a payment to correct the details.

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Immigration matters should be discussed with an official via the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website

‘We have received several reports of the following scam in just the past few days. Scammers are using a technique called Caller ID spoofing to display a misleading or inaccurate phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID,’ explained a USCIS spokesman.

‘Often, scammers will threaten victims with deportation or other negative consequences if they do not pay. If you receive a call like that, USCIS urges you to hang up immediately. USCIS never asks for any form of payment or personal information over the phone,’ he added.

The advice from officials is not to give payment or personal information 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,’ the spokesman said.

‘If someone claiming to be from USCIS calls making threats such as deportation and tells you to make a money transfer or go to a store or drug store to purchase a money order, voucher or make some other type of money exchange, payment or withdrawal do not go along with it, hang up and report it,’ he added.

Anyone who thinks that they have been a victim of this telephone scam is urged to report it to the Federal Trade Commission or an appropriate state authority.

Questions about immigration records can be addressed to the National Customer Service Center and an appointment to discuss matters with an official can be made via the USCIS website.

‘USCIS wants to combat immigration services scams by equipping applicants, legal service providers and community based organisations with the knowledge and tools they need to detect and protect themselves from dishonest practices,’ the spokesman added.

 

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