Friday, January 20, 2012

Scam to Rob Refugees Hits Illinois

This morning I heard from a Bhutanese family here locally that received a call from someone pretending to be from some kind of federal grant agency.  They told the family that they were eligible to receive a ten thousand dollar grant but needed to pay a fee of $600 via Western Union to qualify.  The family actually called me from the Western Union office to ask if it was okay to send the money.  Of course, you may remember that I told you about this scam a couple weeks back.  If you have Bhutanese friends, please warn them about this scam and instruct them not to share personal information or send money.  If they receive a call, it should be reported to their refugee resettlement agency, who should then report it to the proper authorities.  Below is my previous post on this topic:

Today I want to pass on the following information. Please see the link below for details on a scam that has been victimizing Bhutanese Refugees in the US and take the time to warn your friends. Additionally, as tax season approaches, 'tis the season for scams against refugees. Unscrupulous "accountants" have been known to take advantage of refugees by offering to get them larger tax returns. This is often done illegally by misreporting information in various ways.

Immigration scam targeting resettled Bhutanese in US | Bhutan News Service: "The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has notified the US Citizenship and Immigration Services of a telephone scam that appears to target 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,” ORR reported USCIS. It further said that in order 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."

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