Lawmakers warn of scam targeting Hispanics in Grant County - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawmakers warn of scam targeting Hispanics in Grant County

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PLATTEVILLE (WKOW) -- Lawmakers are warning about a possible scam targeting Latinos in Grant County.

State Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) said his office was made aware of the scam Friday.

"It's kind of a sign of the times," Schultz said. "The world's getting a little bizarre. But when you get a call like this you've got to treat it seriously."

Schultz said the alleged scammers are white males. They've previously spotted as a group of four driving a black SUV and wearing black clothing and hats emblazoned with the letter "I."

Those who contacted Schultz's office said the men approached them to ask for personal information like social security numbers, driver's licenses and passports. Those who refused to turn over the documentation were threatened with deportation unless they paid the men $8-thousand.

Schultz said at least one approach happened outside the Platteville Walmart store. The people that reported encountering the men were all American citizens.

"I of course want to assemble as much information as possible so that law enforcement can take action," Schultz said.

Schultz's Chief of Staff Todd Allbaugh said his office believes the scam has been going on for a couple of weeks.

Schultz said similar encounters with the alleged, fake immigration officials have been reported in Montfort and Darlington.

Schultz sought U.S. Representative Mark Pocan's help in contacting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Pocan (D-Madison) said in a recent news release that I.C.E. confirmed the men allegedly spotted in Grant County are not its agents.

"Federal agents will never approach you to demand money," Pocan said.

Pocan and Schultz said I.C.E. officials have said anyone approached by men claiming to be federal agents should notify police.

Schultz said those who might be uncomfortable speaking about the subject with police can contact his office at 608-266-0703 or 800-978-8008 and speak with Hispanic Outreach Coordinator, Franco Sanchez.

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