Apparently, phone scammers are not ‘Islamophobic’ and Muslims provide a target-rich environment

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Individuals falsely claiming to be officers from the DHS, FBI, IRS and/or USCIS are calling on Muslims in America. 

CAIR 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.

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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.

The scammers, who consistently call from a 202 area code and claim to be IRS representatives, tell their victims they owe $9,000 to the IRS and that their visa or passport will be revoked if they don’t pay up, police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said. The caller then instructs the victims to get a “Greencard” money order, which can be obtained at stores like Walmart and allows individuals to deposit money on a special card, then asks for the code number on the back of the card to access the preloaded funds.

At least three victims have sent money to the scammers, Bosques said, and at least two of them sent the full $9,000 in $500 increments, the maximum allowed on the card. In at least one case, the scammers called a victim pretending to be with the Sheriff’s Office, and told them they would be arrested if they did not hand over the funds.

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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 “[t]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.

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