Scam Alert: Beware of Callers Impersonating Government Agents

ScamIndividuals falsely claiming to be officers from the DHS, FBI, IRS and/or USCIS are calling American Muslims

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/8/13) -- A number of CAIR chapters have received complaints in the last few weeks from community members who have received calls from individuals falsely claiming to be from the DHS, FBI, USCIS and IRS.

The community members correctly contacted CAIR to assert their rights, but learned following consultation with the CAIR staff that these calls were in fact scams. Those making the calls impersonate officers, sometimes leave messages and claim there is an investigation pending and threaten prosecution and/or arrest.

There was a recent news report in the Mercury News about Fremont community members falling victim to this IRS scam. These individuals falsely claim to be from the IRS and ask for money otherwise they will revoke the community member's visa and/or passport or arrest the community member.

CAIR has also received complaints about individuals falsely claiming to be from the USCIS asking community members for personal information. These individuals then falsely identify "issues" in the community member's immigration records and ask for payment to correct these records. The Council for Global Immigration reported that "he people making the phone calls ... have threatened adverse actions such as deportation."

Ultimately, these individuals are harassing people to try and extract sensitive information about their identity and/or coerce community members to give them money.

If you receive a phone call from someone who claims to be an officer from one of these agencies, please:

  • Do not give the caller any sensitive information about your identity like your social security number, date of birth, passport number, alien number, maiden name, etc., and do not send any money.
  • Say: "I have nothing to say to you at this time. My lawyer will contact you."
  • Ask them for their contact information and try to make note of the name of the alleged officer, as well as which agency they claim to be with and their phone number.
  • Report it to CAIR's national office or the nearest CAIR chapter. CAIR is also reporting these calls to their respective agencies.
  • If the caller leaves a message, do not return the call or leave a message in return. Please save the message and share it with CAIR.

Please share this alert with your community to increase awareness and help people protect themselves.

If you have questions, please contact CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-488-8787 or email info@cair.com


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