In Spanish: Fiscal General Racine Advierte a los Residentes Sobre la Estafa de Inmigración
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today warned immigrant communities in the District of Columbia of a potential scam involving persons posing as federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and placing bogus Search/Removal Warrants on homes. The warrants threaten the occupants with searches and potential removal, and could be part of an effort to con residents of immigrant communities into sharing important personal financial information or to coerce them into making payments to avoid further action.
The warrants purport to be signed and issued by a Judge with the United Stated District Court, but are not formatted correctly and contain false case captions and numbers. The fake warrants do not contain any names, phone numbers or other information identifying the persons responsible for their posting and, to date, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is unaware of any consumers having been directly threatened or asked to make any payments.
“Scammers will often stop at nothing to take advantage of people, and particularly vulnerable groups,” Attorney General Racine said. “We are concerned that these fake warrants are part of an attempt to exploit very real fears of deportation running rampant right now in immigrant communities. Our office will do everything we can to help educate and protect all District residents, including undocumented immigrants.”
Since the November election, immigration and consumer advocates have been concerned that they would see increasing scams targeting immigrants uncertain of their status. In September 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued an alert warning immigrants of imposters claiming to be government or law enforcement officers and threatening deportation and demanding payments.
If you or any of your neighbors, family members or friends receive a suspicious search warrant or similar item posted on your home, receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a government agent and demanding money, or otherwise are contacted by someone that you suspect may be falsely claiming to be a government official, please call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 202-442-9828.