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For Immediate Release
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) joins the Social Security Administration (SSA) OIG and other Federal agencies on March 5, 2020 for National “Slam the Scam” Day, to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams across the United States.
SSA OIG is engaging other Federal agencies and the private sector to promote a National “Slam the Scam Day” as a National Consumer Protection Week initiative. On March 5, SSA will participate in a USA.gov-hosted Twitter chat, and a Facebook Live event at Social Security.
Both DHS OIG and SSA OIG would like to warn all Americans to hang up on all government imposters, and ask them to spread the word to family and friends. These pervasive scams—in which callers pretend to be government employees to mislead victims into providing personal information or making payments—have become a scourge on the American public. The Federal Trade Commission recently reported victims lost nearly $153 million to government imposter scams last year.
DHS telephone numbers have been used in the past as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. Spoofing is the deliberate falsifying of information transmitted to a caller ID display to disguise an identity. The perpetrators of the DHS-related scam represent themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities. They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from the DHS HQ Operator number (202-282-8000) or the DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) number (202-401-1474). 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. The scammers have also emailed victims from email addresses ending in “uscis.org.” Many of the scammers reportedly have pronounced accents.
As a reminder, DHS never uses its HQ Operator or CRCL number to make outgoing calls of this nature. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers should not provide any personal information. It continues to be perfectly safe to place calls to the DHS HQ Operator and CRCL numbers and DHS officials may continue to be contacted by dialing the DHS HQ Operator number.
DHS OIG takes these matters very seriously. 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
For more information regarding SSA OIG’s National “Slam the Scam” day activity you can visit SSA OIG
For more information visit our website, www.oig.dhs.gov