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
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.govhosted 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.
OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
Department of Homeland Security
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
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.