New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is issuing a fraud alert warning.
He says anxiety in the immigrant community since election day has made them a target of scammers and his office and other legal aid agencies are seeing a spike in complaints.
“One of the most common scams we are seeing is immigrants being targeted by unsolicited calls from fraudsters pretending to actually be immigration officials,” Schneiderman said in a news briefing. “Often, these scammers threaten immigrants with deportation unless they make an immediate cash payment or turn over sensitive personal information.”
Schneiderman says some scammers are using technology to make the number of a real government immigration office appear on caller I.D.
But, real officers will not demand payments over the phone.
Scams can be reported through the Attorney General’s Immigration Services Fraud Unit Hotline at (866) 390-2992 or email Civil.Rights@ag.ny.gov.
Catholic Charities manages a confidential multi-lingual hotline with immigration and naturalization information and referrals. That number operates on weekdays at 1-800-566-7636.