PHONE SCAM TARGETS REFUGEES

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January 12, 2012 (San Diego) – The  Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has been alerted to a new telephone scam that thus far is targeting Bhutanese refugees.  A man identifying himself as a representative of the “Federal Grants Department” calls from a Washington, DC-based telephone number, (202) 436-9601, informing recently resettled refugees that they are eligible to receive $10,000 because they are refugees from Bhutan. To claim the money, they are instructed to produce a money order for $650, and call the telephone number for further instructions on where to send the money. Be advised that this is NOT a legitimate solicitation.

According to the San Diego Refugee Forum, at least one refugee has been coerced into making multiple payments as “processing fees”, totaling more than $5,000.  So far, reports are localized in Texas, but ORR advises everyone to be aware of this scam and avoid giving any personal information or payments to unknown callers.
 
Please note that the federal government does not demand processing fees or security deposits from grant recipients.  If you are the target of a suspicious request, please contact your local police or resettlement agency for further assistance.
 

Comments

just another new Government Grant Scam version

That is just another version of the government grant scam. Thank you for bringing that up. That may be on the news pretty much lately but it's possible that there are still a few who may not be aware yet and posting an article about that is very helpful.

If you'd read the reports at consumer complaint sites such as http://www.callercenter.com, these scam artist work by calling people and telling them they are eligible to receive a government cash grant. So if you get a call like that, and fall for the trick, then they'd either make you pay a bond from $50-$500 or get your personal information and use it for their personal gain. Before you knew it, you're a victim of identity theft already.

So be very careful and cautious about suspicious calls. It never hurts to ignore anonymous calls. Anyway, if it's an important call, the caller will surely leave a message.