DHS has become the latest in a number of federal agencies imitated by scammers to obtain personal information and to steal money from victims, the IG there has said.
The perpetrators represent themselves as employees with “U.S. immigration” or other government entities and alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from the main DHS headquarters number or its civil rights and civil liberties division, it said, adding that the department never makes outgoing enforcement related calls from those numbers.
The scammers have also emailed victims from email addresses ending in uscis.org—mimicking actual address for Customs and Immigration Services of uscis.gov.
“The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods,” it said.
Other agencies experiencing persistent problems with such scams include the IRS and the SSA; the IRS recently once again repeated its warnings against them, saying they tend to increase during tax filing season. As with those agencies, the DHS IG said that such scams should be reported to its hotline at (800) 323-8603 or at www.oig.dhs.gov.