An increasing number of immigrants are receiving scam phone calls from individuals claiming to be part of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In many of these cases, the callers appear legitimate because the telephone number they are calling from matches USCIS’s customer service number, (800) 375-5283. The scammers pretend to work with USCIS and even have personal details about the immigrants they are calling. In at least one case, the scammer told an immigrant that her visa had become invalid and that she must pay a penalty to “get her status cleared.” The caller then directed the unsuspecting immigrant to buy a pre-paid credit card and provide the caller with the codes from each card. One fraud victim in California was told to put $1,500 on “green dot money cards” from her local CVS pharmacy.
Click here to find out more information from USCIS about various immigration scams. If you have been a victim of an immigration scam, you can report it to USCIS here; you can also report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission here. In Illinois, you should contact the Immigrant Assistance Program of the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan: 1-800-964-3013 or click here. 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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