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Feds shouldn’t take calls from DHS, HHS OIG hotlines

April 20, 2017 (Photo Credit: File)
Hotlines for both the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services Offices of Inspector General have been used in recent telephone spoofing scams.

Altering caller ID systems to appear like they are calling from either the DHS or HHS OIG hotlines, the scammers are representing themselves as employees with “U.S. immigration” or the HHS OIG hotline (often with pronounced accents) in order to obtain or verify personally identifiable information from victims.  

Information that should never be provided or confirmed to unknown individuals includes Social Security number, date of birth, credit card information, driver’s license number, bank account information or mother’s maiden name. This information is being used to steal money from an individual's bank account and commit other acts of identity theft.  

The numbers being spoofed are 1-800-323-8603 and 1-800-447-8477, which are used by the agencies only for receiving information from the public, not for making calls. Therefore, anyone receiving a call from these numbers should not answer, and both agencies have confirmed it is safe to use the hotline numbers to report the fraud.

Anyone believing themselves a victim of one of these scams may also file a complaint online via the DHS OIG website (www.oig.dhs.gov), by emailing spoof@oig.hhs.gov or through the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). Information requested includes the date and time of a scam call and any details about the conversation that took place.

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