In recent days, there have been reports of a new scam that targets foreign nationals in the U.S.
According to a report received by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), an individual impersonating an officer of the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) called an immigrant and provided certain correct information about that immigrant, including the immigrant’s name and address. The caller then stated that there is a discrepancy in the USCIS records database and asked the immigrant to confirm his/her data (e.g. I-94 number, Alien number, or visa control number). The caller then told the immigrant that there is a penalty that must be paid for correcting this discrepancy in the USCIS database and asked the immigrant to send money via Western Union to an address provided by the caller.
Please be aware that the USCIS does not charge a penalty for correcting discrepancies in its database. If you or someone you know receives such a phone call, please report it immediately to your local law enforcement authority, as well as the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (whose database is accessed by criminal and civil law enforcement authorities worldwide).
Unfortunately, there are many other types of scams that prey on immigrants. The following tips provide useful information to ensure that you or someone you know does not become a victim of such scams:
If you have been a victim of an immigration scam, or would like to report the unauthorized practice of law by a notary public, travel agent, insurance agent, immigration consultant, or other unlicensed individual, please contact the Attorney General and/or bar association of your state.
In Illinois, you should contact the Immigrant Assistance Program of the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan: 1-800-964-3013 or http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/rights/immigrant.html . For other states and for more information on the unauthorized practice of immigration law, visit www.stopnotariofraud.org.
The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.
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