Community Alert: Scam artists claiming to be federal government agent

Community members from across the country, including the Chicago area, have received threatening, fraudulent phone calls from an unknown caller who claims to be a federal government agent.

DETAILS
The caller identifies himself/herself as calling from the federal government (FBI, IRS, or other government agency), and threaten that a family member will be arrested on federal charges, or that their visa/passport will be revoked. The phone number may be a Washington DC area code (202), or even a local number. The caller may have an accent. They may also claim that your taxes were filled incorrectly and the IRS has issued an arrest warrant for you. They offer an immediate settlement option to avoid arrest. They say the IRS is willing to settle the fine, arrest and penalties for a specific amount. They will instruct you to go purchase a money order and send it to a PO Box. The callers know personal information and are very convincing.

Sample phone numbers:
(202) 800-9952
(202) 540-9331
(253) 220-0720

The caller may request confirmation of your personal information like a home address, family member name/location, and may request money, bank account number, credit card number, etc. They may leave a message requesting you to call them back, and name your family member names.

ACTION
Do not provide any personal or financial information, and do not confirm any information. Do not engage in a discussion with the caller. Hang up the phone.

Contact CAIR-Chicago and make a complaint with our Civil Rights Department at (312) 212-1520 or by filling out our contact form.

You may also file a police report with your local police department in person for telephone harassment/fraud. We are filing complaints with the local FBI and are tracking these calls.

RESOURCES
FBI Common Fraud Schemes
Federal Communications Commission Complaint Form
Money Wiring Scams
Identity Theft
Tax related Identity Theft

Illinois Attorney General’s Office- Consumer Protection Division:
Telephone Scams
General Publications
Do Not Call Registry