From the Office of Refugee Resettlement, HHS, Feb. 23, 2012:
February 23, 2012 UPDATE – WHERE TO FILE REPORTS OF VICTIMIZATION
Reports of refugee families victimized by the recent telephone scam
targeting Bhutanese refugees have come in from Texas, Washington State,
Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska.
We have been advised that victims of this scam should file an online report at www.ic3.gov; once enough incidents occur as tracked through that site, the FBI will pursue the case.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).
ORR will continue to update this page as necessary. Please help to
spread the word throughout the refugee community and service providers
network. Thank you.
In early January, we circulated a message concerning a telephone scam
targeting refugees. At that time, a man was calling Bhutanese
refugees, identifying himself as a representative of the “Federal Grants
Department” from a Washington, DC-based telephone number, 202-436-9601,
informing recently resettled refugees that they were eligible to
receive $10,000 because they are refugees from Bhutan. To claim the
money, they were instructed to produce a money order for $650, and call
the telephone number for further instructions on where to send the
We have received updated reports that the scam is still on-going, but
some of the details have since changed. Most recently, refugees
(again, still Bhutanese) have received calls from a man who identifies
himself as “Nathan Price with the IRS” calling from a different DC-based
telephone number, 202-657-4189, who instructs the refugees to have money wired to various people in India.
The most recent target of this scam lost over $6,000.
ORR advises everyone to be aware of this scam, and avoid giving any personal information or making payments to unknown callers.
Please note that the federal government does not demand
processing fees, security deposits, or overseas wire transfers from
grant recipients or refugees. If you are the target of a suspicious
request, please contact your local police or resettlement agency for
Please share this advisory widely within your own networks.