Police, Congressmember Meng warn of phone scam


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

Don’t be another phone scam victim, police and Congressmember Grace Meng are warning.

Criminals, posing as authority figures, are either targeting immigrants with threats of deportation or calling victims to say they owe money to the IRS or to utility companies.

Meng said scammers are posing as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials, asking for Social Security and passport numbers.

The thieves then say payment is needed to fix immigration record problems, in many cases demanding victims use a Green Dot MoneyPak, police said.

“These are not government officials trying to correct a problem. They are con artists trying to rip people off,” Meng said.

Residents should be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason, police said. Cops also warn residents not to give out personal or financial information to anyone who calls or emails.

Utility and government agencies will never say to pay immediately with Green Dot MoneyPak or even ask for payments over the phone, the NYPD said.

Victims should call their local precincts or report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission here.

Meng said constituents concerned about their immigration records can call her office at 718-445-7860 or visit here.

The congressmember introduced an anti-spoofing bill last December, calling for penalties for  those who use caller IDs to misrepresent themselves in order to get personal or financial information.

“The public should be on guard against this outrageous scam and not fall victim to it,” Meng said.

 

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