Who’s Calling? Not the Government.

How many of us pick up the phone, expecting to hear, “Hey, you owe me money. Now pay up – or else”? But that’s what’s been happening recently to people in the immigrant community. Those aren’t the exact words, and the caller claims to be from the government – but that’s the message people are getting: Send money. Or else.

Our friends at the Esperanza Center, part of Catholic Charities of Baltimore, spotted the scam. Several of their clients got texts and calls from someone claiming to be from a government agency – sometimes specifically from Immigration Service. (Which sounds like the real agency, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, but isn’t.)

People heard different reasons why they might owe money to the government. Maybe they were supposed to pay for part of a “government-funded scholarship.” Or maybe they’re just told they owe money, plain and simple. But the caller always asked for money. Naturally, they asked for money to be wired or put on a rechargeable credit card. Both are the same as sending cash, with basically no chance of getting the money back.

Here are a few things to remember. The government will never text or call you asking for money. Even if you get a call that seems real, check it out. Look up the real number for the government agency and call to see what the story is. And be suspicious if anyone – no matter who they say they are – asks you to wire money, or load a rechargeable credit card. There’s no legitimate reason for someone to ask you to send money that way.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

If these scam artists worked as hard at real jobs as they do scams, one of these chiselers might come up with a cure for a major disease!!

If anyone from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansa
City by the name of Ester George emails you and has the phone number (913)210-4999. Contact the FTC mand the FBI

In my business where 90% of my clients are Hispanic, I have seen this happen with IRS, Immigration, bill collectors, and various other "so called" agencies "supposedly" calling for money. I advise all to just hang up if they receive these calls. I have even reported the numbers etc to IRS and USCIS, etc.

They didn't send my money and they ask me to send them 250 dollars

never send money

THIS IS A SCAM: They call themselves "Federal Bureau of Crime Investigation" telling you that you have pending cases, and offering to close them for a fee. The scam call originated from 214-416-0423

They just did that to me yesterday told me to send them $996 an when i asked for there address he wouldnt give it to me.

Either hang up or tell them to take your name and tel. no. off their list. And if that doesn't work let them know you have their no. and will give it to the proper authority. If it's a robo call hang up, just hang up.

Just got a call from this woman broken english said she was from Washington DC has a grant of $10, don't have to pay back no taxes Free money, because I am a US ctizen, no crimnal record, no bankruptcies, And culd se the money however I wish pay off loans, pay off debt, or start a buissness, go on vacation whatever. Sounds like a scam I said, she wanted a bank account Number or card to send It to In 1hr then said I why can't you send it through the Mail from US Treasurey authenticity stamp validation she said They don't do that cause Of the large sum Of money. So she said go buy a money card at walmart call me back on a saturday morning??? Cause buisness hours??? Total Scam!!! Gvernment never give me anythng Free!!! Beware Of fraud!!!!

Caller: Grant Deartment Of Washington DC

Just got a call today from a guy saying i have $5000 free cash coming from the government. The guy gave me this number to call 1-315-636-5380 and ask for Colin he wanted me to send him close to $400 to be able to receive this cash through western union. It told the guy that he's nothing but a scammer and he told me to go to hell.

I received a call today and the caller said he was calling from the Federal Trade Commission. He claimed to have intercepted a check of mine worth 800 000 dollars. Ofcourse I knew it was a scam. I just told the person that I was busy at work so I'd call him back later but I just wanted to get off the call really. I have saved the number under scammer so I won't answer next time. The number of the caller is 239 300 6975. Save it in your phone so you don't waste your time by talking to this person.

Please file formal complaints about phone scammers at ftc.gov/complaint. Law enforcement agencies use these complaints to build investigations and prosecute people who break the law.

I received a call today from a woman who said she was with the United States Government and I had been randomly selected, along with 15,000 other people, to receive $8,400 in grant money and all I had to do was give her my bank debit card number, checking account or savings account number. When I asked her to provide me with something in writing before I gave her my account number she said that the government does not provide anything in writing. She said she could give me a call back number for confirmation of the funds deposited into my account but only AFTER I provided her with my account information. I explained to her that I was reluctant and leary due to the fact that she could not provide anything in writing. She told me that if I did not provide her with the account information then my name would be taken off the list and I would not receive the money. I told her that I was not giving my account information out. I then tried to call the number back that was on my caller ID and it said that it was no longer a working number! Beware!!

I have been receiving calls from telephone number 916-546-8929 and the caller sounds Hindu and claims to be with the Attorney General's Office. The have told me that I have a lawsuit against me and are sending the police to my home and work to arrest me if I don't cooperate. There are many complaints on this number and it is a SCAM. I am reporting them to the AG's Office and blocked their number from my phone.

They just called me yesterday an said the same actual stuff how can we report them?

I got a call to today some Guy that didn't speak hardly English tell me I had a judgement against me and if I didn't show in court I would get arrested

Please file formal complaints about phone scammers at ftc.gov/complaint. Law enforcement agencies use these complaints to build investigations and prosecute people who break the law.

I also got a call from some foreign person saying I owe them money from a pay day loan if a Jared Jones ask for me then said he was transferring me to his supervisor Adrian Walker (980-263-2492)I as him to provide me with any kind of paper and he said he doesn't have to because they sent me emails regarding this matter, never got any email. When I hang up on him he put me on a automatic redial, until i answered and told him i don't owe this money he insisted that I pay them. I contacted the BBB in my state to file a complaint.

I rec'd several calls from different people saying they work for the Consumer protection agrncy....MR. ROBERT DOYLE, his number 2025584587 telling me i won American sweepstakes and the reason I am getting scam calls is..i really did win and they need to get my winnings to me! I told him that i don'tbelieve any of it if i gotta pay something to Get my ..he said anything over $250k had to be insured and registers and e have to pay Brinks security to deliver the money ..5% of the total winning s...$2250.00
I told him that i don't have the money and shouldn't have to pay to get my prize..he saidto call brinks securty and they will verify everything 8662515399....I hung up with him and i know its another scam..I have been targeted at least 12 times now...i guess its time to change my number! Something needs to be done here!! I am sick of these calls!!

Received a call from a Dave Marshal (not really his name) After several call thru the week, I finally answered. He said he was from the I.R.S., I knew he wasn't. He asked for the company name I made up a name, he said here is our credit account, and I owe $30,000.00, I had to pay thru a Walmart. The number he gave me was 347-722-9061, I called him back and he did answer. I called the FBI, they said to report on here. They said that the call is probably coming from Nigeria.

I answered two calls for my wife today from Maryland - both of them by people with foreign accent - Indian or Pakistani advising that my wife is being charged with FRAUD by the IRS and that she is about to be arrested in connection with those charges. The first caller claimed to be Deputy Anderson - Badge # 6162 - with the Florida Sate Police Department. He said we should call the IRS number 410-246-5303 to verify the charges. I knew immediately that it was a scam and immediately found similar cases being reported on the internet. Called the number, just to check and the answering service said the extension was busy and I should leave a message. I hung up. Ten minutes later, another call - from JAMES SPENCER, with the Federal Division of Criminal Enforcement, out of Maryland, phone 410-246-5303 - saying that my wife had made miscalculations on her tax returns from 2008-2009-2010 and that she was going to be arrested. I told him to go dig for gold some
place else because if we owed the IRS any money we would be first to know about it, not him. The next time we get such call I will give them the number of our legal advisor (the FBI) for them to call!

I don't know if it does any good to post here. I've been getting calls from Jamaica for almost a year now. daily. I either don't answer, or pick up and just say stop calling this number. Also from
the "FTC" saying call back very urgent!! I've had my number for so many years I really can't give it up. Every time I block Jamaica's number they call again with a different number. Driving me nuts, but I am just a stubborn as they are. Boots.

as im writing this a scammer is texting me about mystery shopper job. who do i cobtact. they already sent fake check to me as the first assignment.

I just received a phone, from an unknown number, saying that U.S. Government Grants Department from Washington D.C. The representive, Albert ext 150B, said 1700 people have been chosen to receive an $8,000 grant. These people were chosen base on the demographic area, no felony records nor bankruptcy. I was chosen to receive this grant and use it for paying off medical bills, loans or home improvements. This grant would be free of interest clharges nor would I have too pay back. Again, he said I was one of the 1700 people to receive this grant.
After he made his pitch he asked how I would like to receive my money. I asked what my options were; he answered by sending the money to my checking, credit card or cash. Hmm, that's interesting, I didn't know the government sends cash. I told him I would rather receive via check. His answer was that they don't send checks because not everyone has a checking account. Okay?? After listening to his reason I asked for his name, which he was nice enough to give it to me. I also asked for his call back number, but he didn't have one, because it should have populated on my phone. However, he gave me his manager's name and number, Adam Foster 202-697-9472, in case I need to reach Albert.
Albert proceeded with the next process, which Adam would call me back to ask for my additional information that is missing on their records. I asked what information was on his records; my name and address was his answer. I asked where did his department obtain my information, apparently I filled out a survey in December. Then asked for my age, because they need to know what my age group would use the grant for. At this point I was playing a long because I knew it was a scam, so my incorrect age is 45. As the call almost ended, Albert gave me a confirmation number, two letters with three numbers, and told me to wait for Adam to call me back. I would verify or give my information to receive my $8,000 grant.
PLEASE, don't fall for this scam. Never GIVE anyone your PERSONAL information.

Exactly similar situation happened to me today. I was sure that no one gives away free money. The person asked me exactly same questions mentioned above. I played along for a while and then asked her to prove if this was not a fake call. She could not give a good answer and hung up. ha ha...

Someone from 210-401-3798 Called pretending to be officer Alex Morganand threatening a legal action if I did not call back. I searched for that number and found various blogs people complaining about same scam.

Somebody called my job but they said it a lawsuit against my ssn an he put me on hold an suppose to read advadit an said i can settle out of court for $996..then they left a message talkin about have me or my attorney call and stated my my last for of my ssn.

Watch out for a company victim economics, they say they are a non profit organization to help people get money back from fraudulent businesses, first one guy gets on the phone to check you out and tell you a little about the money you will get back and then he has another guy call you to tell you that you can get your money back for $89 for legal costs. Several companies have called me with this same story. they even have a web site, my lawyer and the Consumer protection agency said to just hang up on these people trying to scam you.

My call claimed to come from Social Security. He said all senior citizens were going to receive new cards and he needed to verify that I was the right person. He knew my name, phone number and address. He wanted to know where my check was direct deposited each month. I told him. Then he wanted to "verify the routing number and account number". I told him NO WAY and hung up. He just wanted a golden paved road into my back accounts!

I got a call today 347-559-7963 saying he was from the IRS and told me I owe some taxes. what I did was ask him about my last four of my SSS to check if he was really from the IRS. when he can't answer I just hung up the phone.

If they don't give you a badge number and REAL call back number that you can actually verify the reason for the call or e-mail ignore and report to the REAL

A woman with a very heavy accent called my business looking for me, my husband told her I was not in, she then told him she was from the I R S and that I was under investigation and should call Kenneth Webster back as soon as possible at 415-223-1186.
Suspecting a scam, I search his name and Internal Revenue Service investigations, and found many people who have been contacted by the same scam. I am not calling back.

Got a call from this Number asking for $10,000 to stop check and bank fraud action from the federal Government , I said what office he said FBI I said ok will call the FBI and give them your Number and he hung up.The number he called me from is 2o2-803-5785 out of Washington DC

1 Of Adam Foster's employees just called me from (202) 000-1111 asking me 2 call (202) 697-6066 (Not the best #) & (202)697-9472 2 Talk 2 Adam & give a confirmation #. 3 letters & 4 digits. 1/14/14 7:05Pm.

foreign accent caller left voice message saying to call back to 415 690 1321 before legal action is taken, they have determined I have a deficiency in my income tax. Yeah, right.

I live in the greater Baltimore area. We have received similar calls from (424) 210-3580, both times it has been a lady with an Indian/Pakistani accent. She has threatened me with arrest since I "have three separate charges" against me for taxes. Since I do my taxes each year, I know that I don't owe the IRS or any government agency any money whatsoever. I pay all my bills on time including credit cards, auto loan, utilities, etc. So knowing all of this, I know this is nothing but a scam. When I started questioning and prying her for informational, she got abusive and reiterated that police was on the way to my home. People, please do not take these scammers seriously or give them any money. They are fraudsters trying to scam hard-working people of money, I hope they rot in hell, Amen!

we got call today stating he works for FBI and there is investigation going on and we better call them back he was speaking broken english, number is 202-754-8075. just want others to be aware of this.

one of friend also, got scammed for lottery ticket win, she is widow lives alone, so at first they gave her 2500.00 to show good faith when she went to the bank to cash it account was closed, after that they were calling her fifty times a day, threatening her that they know where she lives and they will burn her house, and kill her etc. also to scar her they left Private investigators flier at her door and mail box. all this calls originated from Jamaica, so far they have taken more than fifty thousand dollars from her, she is scared to report to the police because she lives alone. This is crazy why something is not done. so many people falls for threats, and elderly lives alone. I wish our government would something to catch them and they be punished for it. Not only that in this scam there were people involve from here guy posed as PI, person whose name the check was written to her.

Message left on my answer machine - pending IRS litigation - call back - important. It is a415 area code that initally answered that the magic jack customer is unavailable. Then later that you have racshed the irs and the mailbox is full.I received no prior notices b4 of any taxes owed. Bware.

415-251-3851 Scam. Saying they are IRS and I am deficient in taxes. They did not have an amount. Must pay now or they are freezing all accounts and sending local authorities to arrest me and put me in jail. Must be paid now. I returned call they caller id'd and knew who I was.

February 17th, 2014
First call was to warn I had 48 hours to call to resolve an unknown issue (caller ID phone number (888) 278-8565). They gave me a case #...
I did not get the message until the next caller (574)-968-8334 from South Bend In.
called to let me know they were from summons and processing.

Summons and processing for whom I was thinking...
I was told there were charges pending against me for fraud under my name and social. To call back with case number...

When I called to find out more info I asked them to identify themselves they hung up on me.
I called back, someone else answered and would not identify themselves until I gave them a case number. I let them know the case number was UN-important until they identified themselves. He had told me that this may not pertain to me and that was the reason for the lack of cooperation on his part.

Nice try! get a life!!

I told them I would turn their number in to the authorities and hung up.
There were many hints that they were not ligit... Music in the background, the UN-professional way they answered the phone. It sounded like I was calling a cell phone. There was no message box when no on answered.

Besides all that if it were ligit, I should have received certified mail in this regard. Since I know I had done nothing wrong I also had nothing to fear. Courts will not call you for reasons such as these.

When you get a call that you suspect is from a scammer, the best thing to do is stop talking to them. Hang up the phone! Here are some tips on how to handle unwanted calls.

Thank, nice tips...

Anybody receive an automated call. I received one 30 min ago. Said his name was Mike from the IRS. We r under investigation for fraud. Gave a toll free number to call or press one to sleak with someone. So i pressed one and I didnt write the phone number down. When it went to transfer me, it just beeped out like a fax line. So I called the IRS and he said that IRS never calls anyone for any reason. They will send notice through the mail. And especially not an automated system either. He said if they call back to write the number down and call him back and report the number. He said there isnt any fraud on my part. I couldnt believe it. What jerks are out there these days. So beware of automated calls too, not just real live peole calling scams now ....#smh

My father received a called from a 415 area code number from a person speaking very broken English claiming to be from the IRS Bureau of Investigation. My father does not speak much English, so he asked to do a 3-way call in order for me to speak on his behalf. The person on the other side of the line did not wanted to talk to me even when my father was listening. So he game me this number 415-251-3851 for Keneth Webster and when I called and said I wanted to know what was going on, the person hanged up the phone.
I went online, to try to contact the IRS directly and found all these blogs, so I advise my father to say that he contacted the FBI the next time this scams call him.
Be Aware!!!

Got a call from a "Charles Green" from the "Federal Govt Office" claiming there are 3 allegations against me for a certain tax year. He had a heavy Indian accent and told me he was issuing a warrant for my arrest & sending police to arrest me since I wasn't co-operative. # came up as coming from District of Columbia. Please be wary of these calls and do not give any personal info over the phone.

Booty's Jamaican bunch is brothering my brother. He just don't want to beleive the are Scam. But they are I wish I could find them and then be able to show them living in Vegas

Received call today that is exactly like BCarter received about Government grant in an amount of $7500.00. Gave me call back number of 202-436-9770 and also a 5 digit to verify. I asked for someone who spoke better English...he hung up. Knew it was a scam.

My Father just received a phone call from someone with the caller ID indicating it was from the District of Columbia. He (the person calling), verified my Father's address and said there was a warrant for his arrest and police officers would be at his address in 30 minutes. Heavy accent. My Father told the caller to make sure he is with them because he has a size 12 that he wanted to put up his arse when they arrived. No one ever showed up!

First, I now realize why some scammers take the chance on operating the way they do. I found it very difficult to find answers here on the IRS site to report the fraudulent call we received.
So I am only left with leaving a blog message hoping an IRS official will read this.
Checking our answering machine we found a msg stating, in a robotic Hindu voice, that we were being sued, IRS style.
The number 209-320-1607 was left for us to call back, which of course we did not. Instead looked it up on the net and found others with similar complaint connected to the same number.
We surely hope folks are smarter these days and don't fall for this garbage and return the call.
And to the IRS, it looks like this number has been in service for awhile now. We hope you are doing something about it.
That's all I've got to day about that.

I received 5 calls today on my machine that were very threatening, I called back it was an Ohio number 567_251-0045, Indian guy claiming he is with the IRS fraud department and my husband under plaid taxes from 2008-2013, said he had an affidavit, we asked him to read it, he said to sum it up we were in alot of trouble, we can either make a payment or go to trial, my husband picked trial, the guy got so mad and said there are warrants out for both of our arrests and the FBI and sheriffs department were coming to our home at 6pm to arrest us it really scared me at first!!! I am so embarrassed that I got that upset and thought it was a real phone call at first! I have never been in any trouble in my life, in the end it was a scam, I just called the number back and surpise it's disconnected! I feel bad for the people they doop,I was truly badly shaken.

Getting calls from 202-280-7316 Pretending to be IRS.
Left threatening message 'Call back Or ELSE good luck'. Getting a few of those these days.

Logging this Number 2022807316 so that if some one searches, knows it is fraudulent.

We got the same exact response!

We also received a call from 202-280-7316 pro porting to be IRS. Trying to find out how to keep them from calling us back.

The same here in Birmingham, AL. I received today two calls from 202-280-7316 claiming to be the IRS. The first one, an Indian dude with an accent I can barely understand. Then, a second call also from another Indian dude (but with a better English). When I asked him why people from India is calling me about my taxes he hung up.

I got a call From David Jones 202-280-7316 IRS agent BagID 25786 indicating I have a problem with IRS and a ....
They are targeting people with a foreign last name to shake up. I just want to find who is running this ring and give them a peace of my mind and the end of my BOOT

I don't condone scams, but it isn't like illegal immigrants pay their dues. They don't pay taxes or insurance, or anything of the like. Hopefully it will drive them back to their own country.

SCAM, pretending to be an IRS. Poor accent, threaten to call Immigration and IRS only because my name sounded non American I guess...I had to disappoint them today. After leaving few messages finally, I got them, it was fun listening his threats which increased as I started to laugh. Just don't give them any info and if you feel so or have time doing so, play with them back...call from 202-280-7316

Have received two harassing calls from 202-280-7316 that I need to call them immediately to avoid trouble. Please check these people. Thank you!

We just got a call Eric William to call us back at 2022807316. Similar threatening message

Got a call from "Officer Sean Wilson" from the "IRS". Definitely Indian, claiming that I owe money to the IRS. It was the same scam and the same number as others have been getting calls from: 202-280-7316.

I received two harassing messages from these guys 202-280-7316.

I'm getting harassing calls from an unknown number all throughout the day, every single day! They are either Indian or Asian and when I ask them to stop calling, he says "no maam, I will not stop calling" and the asian guy continuously kept calling me sexy. He even called me back and left me a message saying "he sexy I want talk to you, call me back". This is getting out of control and I have no phone number to report because it's completely unknown. I told the last guy off and told him to get a real job and quit wasting peoples time but he said "NO". If anyone knows how I can stop this, please let me know!

Hi, JRod,

I'm sorry you've had this experience. The best thing you can do is to ignore the call, or hang up as soon as you realize it's an unwanted call. And then report it at www.donotcall.gov.

Yea I got a call just now from this Indian guy claiming to work for some government grant company, said something about purchasing a Green Dot Voucher, to put $199 on it and to go to a Western Union establishment. Said I was one of 1700 people to be recieving a grant worth $12,300. Told me to call him back at 786-600-1263, extension 1030 to contact a Max Stephens. Feels like a stupid scam to me.

Thanks for sharing your experience and for filing a complaint with the FTC. It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database. Watch this video to learn more about how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters

Thanks Rosario!
This is helpful information!

Thank you for sharing everyone!
I got an email yesterday from the Bureau of CriME Investigation (BCI - not a real thing since the real bureau is Bureau of CriminAL Investigation) and they said I was being charged with a law suit for not paying my debt. After I had half a heart attack, I noticed the grammar in the email was wrong, the fonts were slightly different between paragraphs, and there was too much threatening yet unprofessional language "If this ends up costing your job, the responsibility for the same lies on your shoulder.". I finally Googled it and found out its a scam!!!
This morning I received a call from No Caller ID (how can Verizon allow this?! They won't share the number in billing due to 'privacy'?!? - Its a perfect tool for scammers to use!!) and the guy on the other line had broken English and told me the government is sending me a grant for $7000 for something to do with the Democracy Act and for having no criminal records. He had my full name and home address - after which I said I have his number and will be sending it to the FBI for investigation and his response was "f**k you for wasting my time you a**hole" and a string of similar phrases. I'm pretty sure that might be slightly different language to what the US government would use to address such an issue. I feel pretty harassed right now and registered my number in the DO Not Call government registry. I will be reporting the email and digging into this phone number too. Hopefully these losers will see the walls of a prison soon enough.

Here is a site to report email scams.
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams

And here is the site to have your numbers removed by telemarketers etc:
https://www.donotcall.gov/

Good luck everyone!
Hopefully together we can make this a safer, more honest society!

I have received two calls so far from a person named Joe MCcoy. First when I answered he asked if my name was "?" I didnt answer, I asked him what is this about. He said is from a preliminary lawsuit filed against me. but then he stop, and asked are you "?" mentioning name, I said no. Then he said, is this a wrong number, I said yes. He then hang up. But then later he called, with unkown number left on my caller Id, he left a voice mail and left his name and some filing lawsuit number, but he didnt leave his phonenumber. Also other family members have received same call from this man, asking them for information about me. I wonder how he got a hold of their numbers, and is asking about me. I do not understand what is a preliminary action law suit. Anyway I recently lost my job and broke. I have no idea who would want to sue me, and why call and not leave number. I thought a proffessional would leave at least a phone number and submit legal papers? I do not understand this, could be fraud.

How do i fix my phone apps

Got a call today from Ben Michelson stating I was to be given $8000 in FREE money from the government. Stating he worked in Washington D.C. even though it was a New York phone number. He didn't have any pertinant information, but did have my full name, address, phone number, email address & age. When I tried to rush to get off the phone, he was persistant I answer additional questions. What I would use the $$ for, and my correct age. He asked me to call him back a seperate dept at 360-780-3796. He also provided a bunch of 'authorization numbers/codes' BEWARE!!!

When I get these calls, ( which I have a whole lot lately ) I start speaking spainish, OR I tell them I ain't here but I can be reached at this "other"number and I then give them the "BBB" or the local police dept and the Sheriff's office.... It has cut the calls in more than half!!

I recieved a phone call from an "unavailable" number, when I answered it I got the schpeel about US Grant Department and recieving $8000 because I was in good standing with the government and had no criminal record. When I told him to mail me the information so that I could review it and verify a few things, he became very agitated and started becoming agressive with me on the phone. When I told him that if he was unwilling to send me the information I now believe this is nothing but a scam and he is a criminal and I hung up the phone. He called me back, I didn't answer, he left a message on my phone calling me vile names, swearing at me, threatening to send the FBI to my home to "kick my a*$", threatening to come to my home for the same purpose, have me thrown in jail. When I didn't call back, they called again the following day, refused to let me speak to their supervisor and became hostile again. I did let them know that I had turned this all over to the County Attorney's Office.

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