Attorney General warns immigrants about scammers posing as immigration agents

A girl who begged for her dad's release after the Mississippi ICE raids reunited with her father
Posted at 11:03 AM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 11:03:31-05

The Attorney General's office is issuing an urgent fraud alert on immigration scams.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says people posing as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are threatening to detain immigrants unless they pay a fee to avoid deportation.

The Attorney General says ICE agents will never ask for money.

"It is unconscionable for scam artists to prey on heightened fear in our immigrant communities by pretending to be ICE officers and demanding that families pay up in order to avoid deportation," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "I urge communities to protect themselves by learning about these potential scams - and contacting my office if they suspect fraud. We will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal and bring to justice those who commit fraud agaisnt our immigrant communities."

One example of this ICE agent fraud: An immigrant living in Queens was approached by four men dressed as ICE agents. The "agents" told the man that he was going to be deported unless he gave them all of his money.

Unsolicited calls or texts from fake officials are also common. A person will claim to be a government official or law enforcement and threaten deportation.

ICE agents will never ask for money in person or over the phone, threaten detainment or deportation if you do not pay them, or enter your home without a warrant.

Other immigration fraud includes individuals posing as lawyers or providing inaccurate or false information to an immigrant about their status under a particular law.

To report potential fraud or other issues involving immigration services, call the Attorney General's Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or email Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov. The Attorney General's office will never ask for immigration status or share immigration information with federal authorities.