We have heard reports from clients and the immigration community at large about on-going immigration scams targeting foreign nationals in the US. These scams can take many forms. One of the more common scams involves the foreign national, often here in valid immigration status, receiving a call from someone who says they are an immigration officer. The person may even give his/her ID number or name and the caller ID may seem to say they are calling from USCIS or another government agency. The “officer” then may say something like it has come to their attention that there may be a problem with the person’s immigration status, and they need to make a payment to “the government” to address the problem. In some instances, the “officer” says that the money will be returned if it turns out that the person’s immigration status is okay.
We certainly understand that a call or other contact like this can be frightening and confusing for a foreign national, especially for clients like ours who want to do everything right in terms of their immigration status. However, keep in mind that USCIS or other government officials will not call you or email you asking for money to address your status issue. You should not make payments in such situations, or give information about your financial accounts, etc. If you have a question about whether communication from a supposed officer or government agency is legitimate, contact a qualified immigration attorney who can help you determine the next steps. USCIS also has additional information about common immigration scams here.
Stay alert and keep yourself and your money safe!