My H1-B friends, today I averted a scam by an imposter. Scammers are now targeting H1-B dependents on false claims of visa fraud. These calls seem to originate (spoofed) from real USCIS number and are mostly during the afternoons when the husband is at work.
Please make your spouse aware of such scams.
According to USCIS website – If you receive a call like that, hang up immediately. Please call the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 for immigration records.
I was sick, and thus resting at home today. My wife came running to me shaking and shivering in the afternoon. She was whispering in fear that someone from USCIS is on phone with her for past 20 minutes, and are making threats of jail time. Having read about such scams from Murthy.com, I quickly hanged up the call and enquired with USCIS. USCIS updated me they were not calling.
When she was on phone with the scammer, she was told that she is being currently surveillance remotely, and is not permitted to contact anyone – not even her husband. She can’t hang up the call. She can’t mute the call. She can’t hold the call. Or she will be jailed.
After establishing the fear, this scammer next enquired about her Alien number and in fact provided a case id and conditional id. He made threats of deportation, as he claimed her visa status has expired. She was also asked for her financials and several other information. He later provided a solution in the form of $500 security fee — and asked her to drive out to the nearest airport and pay an immigration officer waiting at the gates. During all these times, he instructed her to not to hang up the call.
Luckily, she provided no information and we lost no money. Maybe a bit of mental agony for a couple of minutes.