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Beware of DHS Hotline Scam

10 May

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently warned the public about an apparent scam involving the DHS OIG hotline telephone number. The fraud alert states that scammers have modified their caller IDs to appear as if their calls are coming from the DHS OIG hotline, These scammers purport to be representatives of the DHS or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) and may request personally identifiable information, claiming that the person answering the phone is a victim of identity theft or that there are issues with their immigration paperwork.

DHS advises that recipients of these calls should hang up immediately. Please be aware that U.S. Government agencies do not conduct business by calling to demand a payment. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) notes “USCIS officials will never threaten you or ask for payment over the phone or in an email. If we need payment, we will mail a letter on official stationery requesting payment. Do not give payment over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official.”

Employers are encouraged to make sure their employees are aware of reported scams and the appropriate ways to protect themselves. If your employees receive any suspicious communication purporting to relate to immigration status, contact your Foster immigration attorney. Your attorney will be happy to evaluate the communication and to provide confirmation of the individual’s status and any next steps that may be coming up in his or her immigration process.

For periodic, updated information on immigration‐related scams and scam tactics, visit the CIS webpages on Common Scams and the Avoid Scams Initiative. Applicants who have been the victim of an immigration-related scam may file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report anyone falsely claiming to be a representative of any Federal Government agency or business. Any suspicious email may be forwarded to the USCIS webmaster at uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov, which should review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.

Foster will provide future updates on fraud alerts and scams impacting foreign nationals on our website at www.fosterglobal.com and in future Immigration Updates©.