Scam: Criminals target immigrants by falsely representing themselves as ICE agents
Criminals targeting those already in fear — Homeland Security Investigations are warning of fake ICE agents demanding money, sex and other things from immigrants.
So far, we haven’t heard of any cases in Southwest Florida, but this draws concern for some of our communities like Immokalee.
It’s a scam done both in-person and online where criminals are representing themselves as immigration agents.
Ralph DeFelice runs the Homeland Security Investigations Fort Myers office in charge of investigating criminal activity in SWFL.
“Here in Florida and Southwest Florida, there is a large immigrant population. Some people worked very hard to obtain and keep their status, some people have questionable status, some people aren’t sure about their status, so they are a vulnerable population that scammers seek to exploit,” DeFelice said.
Scammers are approaching this group and saying they can adjust immigration status or saying you need to pay to complete paperwork or even making threats.
It’s all part of a scam where they are trying to get personal information and steal your money and identity.
If you are contacted by email, text message or in person, call the local ICE office to confirm.
Never open unknown email attachments, send gift cards or provide personal or bank information.
You can report anonymous tips to the ICE Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423.