Germany's migration office has warned that people are posing as employees and questioning refugees at their homes. BAMF officials have said they intend to file criminal charges against at least one of the perpetrators.
Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) warned on Monday that it had recorded several instances of people posing as immigration officials and conducting interviews with asylum seekers at their homes.
Visitors to the BAMF website on Monday would have seen a warning box that read: "There have been several occasions very recently in which people have pretended to be employees of the Federal Office and asked for an interview at which they questioned asylum applicants intensively. This took place in some cases on the pretext that a second hearing was allegedly needed. "
The statement went on to stress that migration officials never conduct home visits. Anyone who might have been the victim of such a fake interview has been urged to report it to the police.
BAMF had posted the same notice on social media last week.
A spokesperson for Germany's migration office refused to disclose how many fake interviews had been reported. However, BAMF told DW that it had filed a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor's office in Rhineland-Palatinate, where at least one of the instances had taken place.
According to the prosecutor's office, it remains unclear what exactly the fake employee's motive was. Reports suggest they could have been looking for ammunition in their anti-migration rhetoric or, worst case scenario, been trying to scam victims to exploit them as part of a human trafficking ring.
Reports suggest that there could have been similar cases in Berlin and Baden-Württemberg.
On BAMF's Facebook page, a user said that he had also fallen victim to a fake interview. "They took my documents. What should I do now?" he wrote. BAMF suggested he immediately inform the police.