Criminal hackers and scammers never miss an opportunity to make money off the misery or confusion of others. Immigration scams have been a problem for years, long before the current administration took office. It doesn’t help that immigrants, whether authorized or not, feel even more anxious these days about what may happen to them in the U.S.
Fraud and scams can take many angles. The most common are connected to the following, as reported in the Miami Herald in September, 2018:
- Notifying you by email to say that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) needs information about you so it can issue a visa to you.
- Requests by phone or email that you owe fees to ICE, and you must pay them through Western Union or Pay Pal.
- You receive an email claiming that you need to submit information to re-register for Temporary Protected Status.
- A notary public offers to provide you with legal services. This preys on the fact notaries in Latin America have some legal credentials. They do not have any in the U.S.
- Internet sites that charge a fee for you to download immigration forms. All ICE forms are available for free on the agency’s web site.
- Job offers that claim to come with a visa. Scammers offer jobs and work visas for a fee.
You can find more information here on the ICE website. The site includes information about what to do if you have been the victim of a scam. The site also has resources to help educate your community. Disseminating this information may prevent the victimization of your friends and neighbors.
Always practice the utmost caution when you receive phone calls or emails asking for personal information. If ICE does in fact need information, it will collect it through its secure sites or by mail. Here’s another tip to remember. You can contact ICE by telephone at 866-347-2422 to verify it is trying to contact you. Be safe – don’t let scammers add to your anxiety or take your money.
This information is brought to you by Landerholm Immigration A.P.C., a team of experienced immigration attorneys available to help you resolve immigration issues. Contact our office at (510) 756-4468 for a free evaluation of your situation.