Article - Phone Scams in Community
Phone Scams in Community
Ipl Admin (ipl.cricketboard@gmail.com)
2016-08-23


Hello
We continue to hear from various people that they are being affected by callers from fraudulent parties presenting themselves as the IRS or the USCIS,   With these incidents continuing to occur, its critical to circulate this article once again.  Please take a few moments to read through again to ensure you are aware, should one of these calls come to you or your family. Please do not assume everyone knows about these calls and please take a lead to inform everyone even if they know about it. You never know you might save somebody's hard earned money. Circulate this message to as many email group as you can to help each other in our community.
WARNING - Fraud - Fake Calls
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT MESSAGE PLS DO NOT IGNORE
Lately there has been a sudden increase in the local phone scams across the country, with the callers pretending to be from USCIS / DHS / IRS / Police in hopes of stealing money or identities from victims.
These phone scams include many variations, ranging from instances from where callers say the victims owe money to the government or there is something missing / incorrect in the visa documents or missing alien registration number or they have a legal case against them or they have unpaid taxes. These callers also threaten arrest and deportation. Sometimes these calls are paired with follow-up calls from people saying they are from the local police department and the victim is under constant surveillance and will be arrested / deported.
Characteristics of these scams can include:
· Scammers use fake names and USCIS / DHS / Police / IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
· Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number or the visa / passport / I-94 details / phone number / address  / DOB etc. 
· Scammers “spoof” or imitate the USCIS / DHS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the USCIS / DHS calling. The caller ID will also show 911. 
· Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
· After threatening victims with jail time or deportation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police, and the caller ID supports their claim.
· Scammers threaten the victim and also constantly maintain pressure by not allowing them to disconnect the call. 
· Victims are told that they owe money / penalty and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer or money pack cards.
· If the victim refuses to cooperate, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. 
Ways to identify these scam calls / Important tips :
· No government agency (USCIS, DHS, IRS or Police) will ever ask for any form of payment over the phone. 
· Government agencies will always reach out thru a formal / written communication / document.
· Government agencies only accept payment in the mode of personal check / draft. They don’t accept payment thru wire transfer / money pack cards.
· There are certain procedures and steps involved before someone can be deported hence associates should not panic by hearing the same.
· Not allowing you to disconnect the call or asking you not to inform your employer are clear signs of a fraud. 
· They ask associates to go to USCIS website / other government  web sites to confirm that the phone number that is displayed in their phone is mentioned in the USCIS website / other government websites. No government agency would do so to convince you. 
Steps you can take as an individual to avoid being a victim :
· You have not done anything wrong hence do not panic.
· Immediately try to reach out to your supervisor / manager / HR / Immigration team.
· Never share your personal information even if they have some of your basic information already with them.
· You are in a valid status in the country hence you should not have any doubt. If anything is required the government agencies will reach out to you/your company with formal documentation / request.
· Never agree to pay any penalty / money thru wire transfer etc. Always ask for a formal documentation / e-mail communication which can be reviewed / verified.
· Such scams do target families / spouses hence do make them aware of the same. 
· Do take this communication seriously and be cautious. 
If you have been a victim of this telephone scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, or report it to an appropriate state authority. (Visit  www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for information on where to report scams in your state.)
 Thanks !!
- IowaPremierLeague
 

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