The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has notified the US Citizenship and Immigration Services of a telephone scam that appears to target Bhutanese refugees.
Current reports of the scam are localized to Texas, but I would like to spread the word to as many government folks, immigration service providers, churches, and teachers as possible, said a circular issued the Department of Homeland Security, Thursday.
“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.
At least one refugee has been coerced into making multiple payments as “processing fees”, totaling more than $5,000, added the circular.
The circular also clarified that the federal government does not demand processing fees or security deposits from grant recipients.
The Office has also requested the resettled Bhutanese to contact local police or respective resettlement agencies for further assistance upon a suspicious request.