Scammers Impersonate US Immigration Officers
You may want to twice next time an ICE officer calls you. (It most likely wasn’t ICE) Scammers are posing as US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representatives and attempting to trick individuals into giving them your money or personal information.
More often than not, the scam typically goes something like this: They call or email stating you’ve violated immigration law. Or that your identity information is wrong or expired. They may even tell you that you owe fees or need to pay an immigration bond. If you don’t give them the information they want they’ll threaten to alert the police or to have you deported. In an effort to keep you from being able to double-check their story, they’ll tell you not to talk to anyone else about the conversation.
If this happens to you, don’t be alarmed. Here are some important things to know:
- ICE and USCIS never call out of the blue and demand money. So if the caller wants you to pay a fee or share personal details like your date of birth or bank account numbers, hang up. It’s a scam.
- ICE and USCIS never accept payments using gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers. If someone asks you to pay this way, it’s a scam. Always.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can make their phone numbers look real even if they’re not. Sometimes they’ll have you look up their number to confirm it’s what’s listed on the agency’s website — even if it matches, it could be a trick.
- Check with ICE or USCIS if you’re unsure about whether a call or email is real. Never call back phone numbers in caller ID or left in voicemails or emails. Instead, type the agency name into a search bar and click on their webpage to find contact information.