The Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General issued a fraud warning last week. Scammers are "spoofing" targeted individuals throughout the country. They're able to change a person's caller ID to make it look as though official DHS offices are calling. Specifically, they're spoofing DHS HQ Operator number (202-282-8000) and the DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) number (202-401-1474).
The caller pretends to be from immigration and other government entities in an attempt to obtain a person's sensitive information. The caller then use that information to steal the person's identity.
Another common tactic is for the caller to pretend to be an immigration official. The caller threatens to arrest the person if he or she doesn't make payments to the scammers.
According to DHS, the scammers have very pronounced accents and even have emails ending in “uscis.org.”
In the alert, DHS reminded citizens of one important note: the government agency never conducts outgoing calls like this utilizing the HQ Operator or CRCL numbers.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this telephone spoofing scam is urged to call the DHS OIG Hotline (1-800-323-8603) or file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website www.oig.dhs.gov. You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and/or report identity theft