There’s a new scam going around – and if your family name is from South Asia, there’s a chance you already know about it. If the scam sounds familiar, that’s because it’s been around for years, targeting one group, then another. Right now, the people being targeted seem to be from India and Pakistan; tomorrow: who can say?
Here’s what’s happening: You get a call from someone claiming to be from the government – maybe the IRS, maybe a law enforcement agency, maybe the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The caller often has a foreign accent, and might even speak to you in Hindi or Urdu. The caller might have information about you – the last four digits of your Social Security number, for example. The caller tells you that you owe money, and that if you don’t pay, many bad things will happen (deportation for you and your family, freezing your assets, jail…you name it). The caller will tell you to pay using a prepaid card, and will threaten you if you protest.
If alarm bells went off for you as you read that last paragraph: good! There’s a lot there to set off alarms.
If you’ve gotten one of these calls – or any call asking you to buy prepaid cards or to wire money – the Federal Trade Commission wants to know about it. Please call 1-877-FTC-HELP and tell your story. It helps our investigators build cases against these scammers.