The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office recently warned consumers about a new scam that seems to be directed primarily at extorting money from immigrants. The scam, which uses so-called “spoofing” technology to make it appear that a phone call is originating from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or other federal government offices. The scammers then claim that the persons receiving the phone calls or their family members have become the victims of identity theft or that a family member is being held on an immigration detainer. The caller then attempts to get the victims to confirm personal or financial information, and he or she may threaten deportation or arrest if they do not make certain payments as instructed.
According to the press release, the numbers appearing on caller ID in this scam are not used by DHS or any federal government office to make outgoing phone calls. Furthermore, no one from the federal government would use a phone call to threaten an arrest. As a result, authorities are recommending that anyone receiving these phone calls not give out or confirm any personal, financial, or bank account information, do not make a payment, and immediately hang up the phone.
Consumers receiving these phone calls also may file complaints with the North Carolina Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division, the Federal Communications Commission, or the Federal Trade Commission. Your cell phone provider also may able to assist consumers in blocking calls from the phone numbers being used in the scam.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued warnings about similar schemes nationwide. These scams range from emails announcing that individuals have been awarded a visa through the diversity lottery if they pay a fee and phone calls asking for immigration processing fees to be paid by telephone or Western Union, to fraudulent web pages that allow individuals to download USCIS forms for a fee. Our Texas immigration lawyers are here to offer you the experienced legal representation and advice that you need to resolve your immigration matter. We can act as your guide through the complicated immigration process to obtain the relief that you are seeking. Call our office today and learn about the type of assistance we can offer you.