NEW YORK (AP) – Authorities say con artists are exploiting immigrants’ fears of deportation by posing as federal agents and demanding they pay up or else.
An immigrant in New York City, for example, got a call from someone who told him he was in the U.S. illegally and would have to hand over $1,550 to stay.
People in the U.S. without permission are seen as easy targets for such scams because they are reluctant to go to the police.
As a result, authorities have found it difficult to investigate such schemes or determine how common they are.
The New York attorney general’s office says immigrants should know this: A real agent from ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, will never ask for money.