U.S. Brings Charges Against Phone Scams

A few weeks ago, I read an article by Eric Tucker of The Associated Press.  It was about how the Justice Department announced charges on Oct.27 “against 61 defendants in the United States and abroad in connection with call-center operations based in India.”

The crime?  Callers pose as officials of the I.R.S. or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, threatening victims with immediate arrests or deportation if they do not pay invented penalties.  “The government says it’s a scam that’s tricked at least 15,000 people into shelling out more than $300 million.”

I was nearly hooked by one of these calls over a year ago when someone called, saying he was from the Treasury Department.  Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell states, “U.S. government agencies do not call to  demand immediate payments to avoid deportation or to avoid arrest.”

I have also had threatening calls from people posing as I.R.S. officials.  I didn’t know about the U.S. Immigration scam.  That one seems particularly vicious because the criminals prey on people who are even less familiar with how our official agencies work and may be terrified of deportation.  I am really glad to hear of the actions take by the Justice Department.