EOIR, more commonly known as the immigration court, has posted a notice warning that scammers have spoofed their phone number, and are calling people attempting to scare them into giving the scammer detailed personal information. The scammer can then use the information gained to access bank accounts, steal money, and commit many other crimes. EOIR posted a notice making it very clear that these calls are not being initiated by them, and that individuals receiving these calls should not provide any personal information.
Although EOIR is the latest government agency to have their name used in an attempt to scare immigrants and scam them, they are not the only one.
Calls from scammers falsely claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or the IRS are common.
Although a local immigration court will on rare occasion reach out to an individual by phone, EOIR headquarters itself never does. All official correspondence from any of the above agencies will come by paper in the mail. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from one of these agencies, we recommend you take the following action:
- Do NOT disclose any personal information, such as birth date, address, or any other identifiers.
- Ask the person for their full name, title, and a phone number.
- Ask the person for a detailed explanation of why they are calling.
- Inform that person that you will return their call once you have confirmed their identity.
- Check the government website for contact information and return the call to that number rather than to the number given. Verify that the call originated from that agency.
Once you have confirmed the legitimacy of a call, it can be a good idea to have an attorney with you when you speak to the agency.
Almost always, though, calls from these agencies will be scams and the scammer will give up on trying to steal your information long before you feel the need to contact us. If you ever do, we are here to assist you with tasks both large and small, so never be afraid to reach out.