Just wanted to update that many immigrants are getting scam calls. Yesterday I got a call morning 6.30am. The person over the phone mentioned that he was calling from USCIS and mentioned that I have not updated my Alien nos and hence I will deported back to India. When I asked him the reason for that, I was told that I am required to update the alien nos as soon as I reach USA and hence there is a legal case going back in India on me and then give you a case nose for that.
I could not believe this and hence cross check the USCIS website for nos. and to my surprise it matched. Through nos spoofing they ensured that the same nos is shown on my phone screen.
They had all my passport details, including my Indian address and visa details, email I'd and my USA phone nos. which is one of the reason they sound convincing.
They created a panic in our minds by speaking loudly in an ordering tone and do not allow us to keep the phone on mute or speak to any other person.
When I asked them how to resolve this issue and how to update the alien nos, they mentioned they will do for me but there is a penalty for the same and I need to pay this penalty within 30mins. I told them that I need to consult people bck in India, they did not allow that nor will they allow you to consult anyone in. USA. I then asked him the penalty amount and what name the cheque should be prepared as. He asked me to make payment either through debit transfer at a location or through western union money transfer.
I was given address of Rite Aid on 3rd Avenue of downtown Seattle and that where I got the hint that this a spam call. On the other hand, my husband managed to speak to his friend and he mentioned that these scam calls are being made to many people. It has been specifically to people who migrated to USA recently. Below is a mass mail that cam from on of the. Universities in USA informing everyone in the same.
Hence, everyone please be careful if you receive any such calls. It is more surprising that the Seattle police does not even register a complain since you have not been a victim of this.
Hence, I thought at least everyone should be aware about this.
Please do not entertain such calls.
The Office of International Education wanted make you aware of current telephone scams that appear to originate from The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but in reality are not. You can find more information on USCIS website how to recognize a telephone scam and steps to take if you receive such a phone call:
From the USCIS website:
Do not fall victim to telephone scammers posing as USCIS personnel or other government officials. In most instances, scammers will:
request personal information (Social Security number, Passport number, or A-number);
identify false problems with your immigration record; and
ask for payment to correct the records.
If a scammer calls you, say "No, thank you" and hang up. These phone calls are being made by immigration scammers attempting to take your money and your credit card information. USCIS will not call you to ask for any form of payment over the phone. Don't give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official.
If you have been a victim of this telephone scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Learn more about telephone scams and telephone scammers' techniques by visiting Federal Trade Commission-Telemarketing-Scams.
Scam Scenario Detailed
The victim receives a call either from 911 or some number, from a person claiming to be DHS or USCIS officer.
The caller threatens saying the victim are out of status and/or the victim have not updated the alien registration number and you would are deported and hence have to leave the country (USA) within 24 hours
The caller also threatens not to disconnect the call and/or that the cops would come to your residence and arrest you.
After some conversation, the person ends up telling the victim he may overcome the situation by paying money through Money Transfer via Western Union.
The caller may also ask you to transfer money in different ways; may ask you to with draw cash from a bank and buy money- pak cards from a gas station and scratch the number behind the card and ask the victim to read it out.
During this process, the caller immediately transfers the money to his account through some means.
How to Know it is a Scam
A person would generally not receive a call from 911, unless you called 911 prior to you receiving the call.
Any USCIS notices would be sent by mail, but not through phone conversation.
When a person threatens you, do not panic, especially in this scenario.
Ask additional information to the caller and then decide on the situation.
The USCIS personnel would never ask you to transfer money using any money transfer methods or through cards, nor would never call you and talk for hours.
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