What are some common immigration scams and can I help protect myself against any immigration scams. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration attorney here in St. Louis, Missouri. US CIS recently issued an alert to immigrants in the United States, explaining that there have been scams going around on the telephone, where scammers have created a fake caller ID to make it look as if the call is coming from US CIS. When the unsuspecting immigrant answers the phone, they are told that there’s a problem with their immigration case, that they need to get some background information and they start asking the alien for identifiying information, including social security numbers, alien numbers, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, those kinds of things.
You need to protect yourself. You should know that the immigration service is never going to call you and ask you these kinds of questions. If they do, they would ask you to come in for an interview or they’ll send you a letter, but you’re never going to get a situation where immigration services calls you and asks for your credit card information or anything like that, and that’s what’s been going on. The scammers have been strong-arming these immigrants into thinking that they have to give money to the caller, or else their case would get denied. You should know that immigrants, both those undocumented and those with valid immigration status are often the subject of these scams.
You need to protect yourself. One way to do that is to check with the local immigration office when you’re contacted to make sure that this call is legitimate. You can always call back the 1-800 number for US CIS and make sure that what they’re asking is true. A lot of times, that’s all it takes is a simple phone call. We’re going to put down on the website the address you can list if you … The website address you can visit if you’ve been the victim of an immigration scam, so make sure to do that. Immigrants also are sometimes taken advantage of by people called Notarios or Notary Publics. These are people who act as if they’re an attorney.
They’re not licensed to practice law. They’re not authorized to give out legal advice, but they’d tell you that for a real cheap price, they can guarantee you some kind of immigration benefit. You should know that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Most state bars have an online registry. You can check to see if someone is an attorney. Don’t take legal advice from a Notario or someone who’s not licensed to practice or authorized to represent people in immigration. It can have dire consequences, not only could you lose the money that you spent on the person, but sometimes bad immigration advice from a Notario or someone pretending to be an immigration attorney, leads to the deportation and it could have been avoided altogether.
Beware of those who call you acting as if they’re agents of the immigration service, beware of Notarios. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you have any questions or want to check on the veracity of an immigration contact, feel free to give us a call, (314) 961-8200 or you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.