Search for scammers posing as federal immigration agents in Orange County

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Authorities in Orange County are investigating reports that men are posing as federal immigration agents to scam people out of hundreds of dollars.

Investigators from several Orange County law enforcement agencies, including Anaheim, Santa Ana and Westminster, are looking for the scammers who are threatening to deport people who don’t pay up.

The fake agents are specifically targeting immigrant communities, Westminster detectives said. At least two men were robbed just in the past week.

“The victim remembered what he believed was an ICE badge hanging from one of the suspects necks,” said Officer Eddie Esqueda of the Westminster Police Department. “The other one was wearing what he believed to be a tactical vest. They demanded his wallet.”

One of the latest incidents happened Wednesday at around 4:30 p.m. 

A man was walking through a parking lot near Magnolia Street and Westminster Avenue when two men in a dark-colored or blue SUV approached him, police said. 

The men, appearing to be in their 20’s or 30’s, were clean cut and nicely dressed with a black handgun on the center console, according to the victim. 

The fake agents demanded the man’s wallet and stole a few hundred dollars in cash before taking off.

“It’s not legitimate. Federal agents don’t detain people in the street. That’s just not how it works,” Esqueda said. 

The fake agents also robbed another man who was riding his bike near Newland Street and Westminster Boulevard Saturday afternoon.

He, too, was approached by two men in a blue SUV, who claimed to be U.S. immigration agents, demanding cash and threatening to deport him.

Police believe there are more victims. 

The Spanish-speaking communities especially should stay alert, police warned.

If people were robbed by these fake agents, they can report it to their police department regardless of immigration status.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.