Four men took advantage of recent raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers (ICE) to try to scam a Woodside man out of several hundred dollars, according to City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
Reportedly, the perpetrators approached a Latino man walking near his home at 65th Street and 38th Avenue on Monday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. The men were dressed in uniforms that resembled those worn by ICE officers.
They told the man that unless he paid them $250, he would be deported. He handed over the cash and the man’s wife called Councilman Van Bramer’s office, the Daily News reported. According to the NYPD, the family has not officially reported the incident to police.
“It’s unclear who the people are who are perpetrating the scam, but it seems like they are just run-of-the-mill con artists who are shaking down people who are already scared,” a spokesperson for Van Bramer previously told QNS.
The councilman held a rally near the man’s home on Tuesday to denounce the scammers. Immigration groups Make the Road New York, Emerald Isle Immigration Center and Catholic Migration Services also attended the rally.
“Yesterday we sent a strong message to scammers claiming to be ICE: Your despicable acts have no place in our city,” Van Bramer said on Facebook. “Report these crimes to police and contact my office if you need help.”
In an ICE raid last week, officers detained 41 people from New York. According to the federal agency, 38 of those people had criminal convictions. It is not clear why the remaining three people were detained.
Tonight, Feb. 15, Van Bramer is hosting a town hall with immigration groups and lawyers to discuss the recent raid and to brainstorm ideas about how to resist certain policies put forth by the Trump administration.