Scam calls to immigrants

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When you tell us about a scam, it helps us investigate scammers. But it also helps us warn other people about the scam – so they can avoid it. Our partners at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) told us about a new twist on a common phone scam: scammers are calling immigrants in the US – but this time, the scammers are pretending to be from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

In standard scammer procedure, they fake the caller ID, so it looks like they’re legit. But they’re not. They threaten people – telling them they’re under investigation, or there’s a legal case against them. They throw around terms like “affidavit” and “allegations.” And, of course, they ask you to pay up. Scammers often tell you to pay by money transfer or prepaid or gift card.

But here’s the real story. IRCC – the Canadian agency that facilitates the arrival of immigrants to Canada, and has programs to help newcomers settle in Canada – doesn’t collect money or payments by phone, by money transfer, or by prepaid or gift cards. They don’t ask people to confirm basic personal info they already gave on an immigration application (for example, date of birth or passport number). They don’t threaten to arrest or deport people. USCIS doesn’t do any of those things, either. And the IRCC isn't calling people in the U.S.

If you get a call – or an email – like this and you’re worried, here are some steps to take:

  • Have you gone through – or are going through – US immigration? Call USCIS’s National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283. Ask if you need to do anything about your case or your immigration status. Or you can make an InfoPass appointment to talk with someone.
  • Are you in Canada’s immigration process? Check out their Help Centre for signs of a scam. And, before you ever send money, learn how you can pay fees, depending on what you’re applying for and where you’re coming from. 

No matter what, if you get a call or email asking for your money or personal information – stop. Don’t wire money. Don’t get a prepaid or gift card and share the numbers. Instead, hang up and tell the FTC.

Tagged with: imposter, phone, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

This isn't only happening to immigrants. I'm native-born with an Eastern name and still get these calls and messages.

The method of calling immigrants should be investigated, concerning how the immigrants are identified by scammers. Is this information leaked? Do they post on Facebook, or other social media? I am concerned with information that was obtained by a multitude of websites then posted on "Mylife. com." with personal information. I sent a request to remove my data, which is still posted!

There are so many scams that differ slightly. People get scared and fall victim. Mostly undocumented and seniors fall victim. The most vulnerable of our people. Sad.

Anerica is bid sand box play fir scamers and FBI just a falure, a joke, laughing stock fir the whole world

What if this is a scam to find immigrants so they can be deported by ICE.

Thank you , however if I am not subscribing to you I will never know these SCAMS, is there a another way for everyone to know about these scams TV RADIO NEWSPAPERS , and if caught, punishment should be severe.whats happenin g to the guy who got caught in India for the IRS scams ?

I am a victim of identity theft and I have not been able to do my taxes ever but they have been done for the last five years as much as I try I cannot get my own identity.

Go to IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft related to your taxes.  You can create a report to law enforcement and get the letters and forms you need to send to credit reporting companies.

If you need more with tax related identity theft, call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.

Maybe they have not happened yet but I want to tell them that since a few times we go with the trick they call senior citizens to call and as a reign, grandson, nephew and need money. Several parents and most single women believe and give them money. With us is gewrnt over TV newspaper radio but always again the frauds nevertheless to get.

I was using my daughters computer and a screen popped up saying it was Microsoft and they detected a virus. It said if I didn't call within 30 minutes, my computer would be unusable and shut down. I gave the guy control of my daughters computer and by the time I realized it was a scam, the computer was inoperable. Needless to say, he got no money from me but it cost $200 to get it fixed

I called Microsoft and they said they never send out such pop ups. So the scammer shut down your computer because you don't pay ?

There is a scam on Facebook where people are stealing the Americans pages and say that they have gotten a large sum of money and that the person that they are trying to scam. Their name was right beside theirs. And now they qualify for a large grant as well. It is called a Facebook grant. And they also trying to get people with the work from home scam:

UNdocumented and seniors are not going to look on internet for scam warnings. Alerts and warnings need to be in newspapers and on television for best universal coverage.churches, town halls,schools,organizations,seniors, need this info directly from you to be passed along.

I was recently scammed from someone pretending to be calling from IRS and eventually paid $4300 through iTunes gift cards. They were professional and even got the fake called ID number from my campus police department. Is there anything I can do. BEsides I have filed a police complaint, a complaint in FTC, complaint in Apple Inc. What else I can do??? Please help

You can also report IRS impersonators to the US Treasury Inspector General, which keeps track of the scam for the IRS.

You could write to the corporate headquarters of the store where you bought the iTunes cards and tell them what happened. Some stores have trained their cashiers and staff to watch out for customers who are buying a lot of gift cards, and to warn them about scams.

The police in India just caught the boss of this organization . He should be extradicted to the US

Thank you for warning us of these people,

what I have learn so far the scams and frauds' are committed by those whom are inside the systems abusing others to complete their jobs for theme

Just received a robo call from 765-226-5608 saying the IRS was getting ready to file a lawsuit.

Happened to me when I went to site renewing my green card. Stopped process, because they were asking for money right away. Not 5 minutes later I received a phone call, telling my my account was frozen because I did not finish with the process. Also received 2 emails. On the phone the woman wanted me to pay over the phone, which I declined. She sent 2 emails and also tried to call me again the next day. She gave me this phone number as "signed to my case" 1-866-379-7213, extension 9470. The number the calls were coming from is 650-899-0042

Thank you for sharing your experience. We can't address complaints that come through the blog comments. Please go to ftc.gov/complaint to report this.

The day IRS scammers called me to scam me for money, it was the the day I filed my income taxes and I owed a bit so I made both payments at the same time, state and federal, via direct deposit from bank account. I wonder how come the scammers decided to call me the exact same day I filled my taxes? How is this possible? Did they know? Are they hacked into the IRS system? At first I believed it but thank God I realized right away that IRS won't act like them and wouldn't have Indian accents. They might speak English perfectly but their accents will always be an indicator of someone who might not be legit. At last that's what saved me, I doubted that IRS will assign someone so unprofessional, threatening and with an accent to such sensitive case like an "arrest".

I received an automated call saying that I'm being investigated for tax fraud. Also said that I needed to call this number. When I looked up the number online at the website npnr. org, it looked like others have experienced the same thing. What should I do, if anything, to follow up on this?

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