Who’s Calling? Not the Government.

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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

i have received 3 calls from the same number 301-476-0602. telling me i have been selected for a grant that i never have to pay back . the forst caller said my grant would be 21,000 dollars the second caller said the grant would be 15,000 dollars and the third said the grant would be 9,000 obvious scam

Omg, I'm from Jamaica and I wasn't aware of tbiw, I know they'll call and tell that you've won money and you should send a deposit, they've on a roll with this one but luckily the police has been catching up on these crooks.
This is new though and I'm guessing alot of persons are unaware, I'm going to share this on Facebook it'll get to the right persons in time. I do apologize for these waste of breath but of course theyre everywhere. Be very vigilant though and pls, if someone calls you saying you won stuff, please please make a few cals and check it because they've become quite the professionals.
I again I do apologize to everyone who has been victimized on behalf of us true hardworking Jamaicans.

Hindu lady called me stated I've been selected to receive a government grant of 8,500. Do to a survey taken in my area. I was one of the lucky ones chosen because I have not filled for backrupsy and have a clean record. They already had all my information. How I have no idea? I asked them for a website where I can look them up they couldn't give me an exact website all I got was ARRA (Anerican Recovery and Reinvesment). She than asked how I would like to receive my money via checking account, prepaid debit card or cash through western union. Knowing it was a scam I said cash western union she than asked for 250$ Account "activation fee" to wire my money over and i would be reimbursed a total of 8,750$. Yea Right! Her name was Linda Walker. (202)580-8278 ext:546

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Dude that just happened to me! I couldn't tell what her accent was but she went through and gave me the exact same scenario too! I don't have bankruptcy or a criminal record and all of that! It came on a no caller ID number from the US Treasury department is what she claimed

Just got a call today saying I owe money on my taxes from 2007-2014 $2400.61 I was told to wire money thru western union. & that there was a warrant for my arrest he could lift for two hours but if I didn't pay in 2 hours I'd be arrested. Go figure...... Foreigner with a DC #. Almost ruined my day

Thank you for sharing your experiences. These are useful details for a complaint.  Please go to ftc.gov/complaint to report this. Blog comments are not entered in the database law enforcement uses.

Just got the famous call on my cell phone about owing the IRS and they are going to file a lawsuit against me if I don't pay. Then they gave this phone number 210-775-2691. I called back on a different phone just to see how they would answer, and they did not.

Got call from 210-485-7754 Saying IRS has Warrant

Well at work we got a phone call with a block number on the caller id and he wanted to talk to the owner and I asked he what is this for? and he said it was a investigation going on and when I came back on to ask if I could take a message he hung up. So I think it's a scam because if it was investigation it would all be in writing and it would be a summons. I think all of these people should be put behind bars and never get out and have freedom.

These two phone numbers claim to be The American Police and Sheriff's Association, and seem to be a scam; 253-236-9758 and 425-214-4522. Level 3 Communications is identifying number, but is personal residence in Bellevue, WA. And, no phone number like these are associated with this organization.

I received a call saying I would get $9450 from a federal grant. But I have to go to Western Union tomorrow and call him from there and I had to have $250 in cash to send them, then they would send mt money reimbursing me for the $250 with a grant of $9450 dollars. Then we started looking up the numbers and found this site. THANK YOU!!!

I got a no caller ID call. There was a lot of background noise where her voice would fade in and out. She claimed I was eligible for nine grand supposedly for being a law abiding citizen. She claimed she was from the U.S. Treasury department. I hung up the phone when she started to go on about reasons for supposedly wanting to give me money.

I got another No Caller ID call!
This man claimed he was from the Federal Grant Service. His name was Michael.

Keep getting calls from a restricted # left a massage saying I need to answer my phone he is detective Alonzo from special agent burea.

7564011012. This guy of the contact calls me up and asks if your card is working. Please bring your card we have to give it a check . All technicians are waiting here to check on the card as we had blocked it by mistake. the fraud was too dumb to do this but he might have scammed many people.

Someone call me and he said that he is from american embassy.i want only to confirm if the person call me is from the american embassy.this is his number +19179798838..thank you

If you want to find an American embassy in a country outside the US, go to this page from the US State Department.

If you want to find the embassy of a foreign country that is located in the US, go to this page.

Received a call from 202-880-6515 today stating that we owed the US Govt money and we would be facing legal action shortly.. Broken english and no details relating to our debt..

For nearly a month now I've been getting these phone calls from people all with foreign accents claiming to work with the government saying that I have been chosen to receive free money to spend however I would like. Every time they call I tell them that I know they are scammers and they try to argue with me and tell me that I'm wrong. I repeatedly tell them to stop calling, but they still call on a daily basis from different phone numbers, I'm getting tired of it. I just block the numbers, but they always call me from a new one no matter how many numbers I block. I've also gotten voice mails from an automated recording saying that it's the IRS, and my social security number has been flagged because of money that I owe the IRS, which is complete crap. All I got to say is do not fall for any of this, it's all a scam. Just hang up on them no matter what they say.

they called me from 657-271-1082, got a little bit shook up. till I realized this is not right! doesn't sound right, wasn't true, too unprofessional, etc. etc. call the local police, they told me it was a scam!

I received a text the other day from someone the said they were Investigator from the FBI and wanted to help me with something. They they saw my profile. Then they emailed me from a secret service email address that ended with Gmail.com and wanted me to transfer $2500 US to help me with this case.

I tried to look up the phone number and couldn't find a field office with that number.

The number is 772-202-3783.

Same thing just happened to me. Guy with an Indian accent called claiming he was from the IRS, and said that I needed to pay almost $4,000 or the police were going to arrest me. I called my local police office and they said it's just a scam. The number is: (803) 648-0728
Aiken, SC. Stay safe!

I have received a message from (+91)-xxx-xxx xxxx from Jordan. i dont know who is.....

Recently I received a call from a private number. It was a women with a really heavy accent. She said I had been one of the 15 people chosen by the federal aid department to receive money that I could use on anything and I don't have to pay back. I asked her why is it a private number and she said its because they are calling from the internet. I asked how did they get my name and my phone number to call because I don't remember participating in anything g of the sort she told me its free money from the government I could get it if I was citizen over 18 years old and I must have an American high school diploma. I told her I was not a citizen I was a permanent resident she quickly said it was okay that I could still get the money. I told her I still don't understand how I am getting the money. She asked me if I was going to college o told her yes but I took a semester off. I was waiting till she asked for my bank information or ask for money but she did not. So I said I'd like to use the money for school to send it to the college I am going to. I have to mention that she tried to get me to apply for a college thinking that I was not in a college already. I told her to call my college and have them call me and explain everything and graciously said bye. It's been a week now and she did not call. I would have threatened to report her but I had no number.

got a call saying I had a 9000 grant. when I asked if it could be sent in the mail he said no only western union or Walmart gift cards or direct deposit and I hung up thing got me the did know what ky stood for when the were trying to verify my address. how doesn't the government know ky stands for kentucky

Rec'd call from "Henry" (w. Indian accent) from an Restricted number who indicated he was a missionary and was a Christian who indicated he was from the US Govrnmt with a "1 time-life time grant offer" of $9,200.00 that I can accept through direct deposit to my bank acct, credit transfer to credit card or one other option that was VERY hard to understand. When asked 2 give me more personal info to ensure that he was talking w. correct person, he gave me first and last name (married, not any other previous name), email address and mailing zip code (incorrect). He could not tell me my SSN (at least last 4) or any other personal info, even a mailing address. I asked him how he knew if he was talking w. correct person because I could be Suzy Q. down the street and how would he ever know it was going to the right person? I claimed he was a scammer and I needed to be put on a do-not-call list. He raised his voice stating he was NOT a scammer and asked that I don't call him that - because he was a missionary and a Christian. Told him I don't care what he is, I had spoke with 5 people now from the "US Govrnmt" with this "one, life-time chance at this grant money" and each time I have told them I don't want it and to take me off their calling list. He said, he would not be calling me (which I'm sure I've heard his voice before), but since my name is within their data base, and "randomly selected" - someone else would be calling me. I asked, what database is this from. He asked me what I meant - I said, is this a database built from all US citizens or is this because I entered my email address to some random website I shouldn't have? What database is this pulling my name from? He said he didn't know and he couldn't really say. I asked him how he couldn't know? He's working for a company that doesn't even provide that basic information to him? After that - he shut down pretty fast and indicated that "he wouldn't force me to take this grant money, that it's ok - *he* wouldn't be calling me again" and hung up. I've seen too many sites that state there really isn't any way to shut these people down - but I have heard that they make their money from calling as many people as possible (and of course getting their personal banking info) so wasting their time and keeping them on the line as long as possible seems to be a fun way to get back at them. Immature? Sure - but hey, if you can't beat 'em, why not join 'em?

The number (206)152-4767 is a scammer from India who says he is "the federal government". It's not even possible to be the "federal government" as a whole. I told him to stop scamming and then he tried to argue and say it's not a scam and when I continued to tell him to stop scamming he cussed at me and hung up.

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