This is a follow up to our previous article regarding scams targeting foreign nationals and their employers. Please be aware of the following threats and take precautions to avoid becoming a victim.
Scams Targeting Foreign Nationals
Ongoing scams target non-immigrant workers by requesting payment through phone or email to resolve made up immigration violations. With personal details obtained through hacked or publicly available information, criminals pretending to be agents of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) contact unsuspecting individuals regarding a “mistake on their visa paperwork” or a “failure to complete form AR-11.” Scammers threaten that if the made-up violation is not corrected through payment, the “violation” could result in arrest and/or deportation. Payment is often requested through PayPal, Western Union, or gift cards.
In some cases, scammers alter caller ID systems to indicate the call is from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) (1-800-323-8603).
You should know that USCIS will never require payment of fees by phone or email, or request that you make a payment by transferring money to another individual through wire or PayPal.
Additionally, visit the Avoid Scams Initiative at www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams for more information on common scams and other important tips. If you have a question about your immigration record, call customer service at 800-375-5283 or make an InfoPass appointment at http://infopass.uscis.gov
Scams Targeting Employers
Employers are not immune from fraudulent schemes. Recent reports indicate companies have received emails from USCIS requesting information on employees’ Form I-9. Emails may even come from a uscis.gov or firstname.lastname@example.org address.
Employers should know that they are not required to submit I-9 forms to USCIS, and USCIS does not request Form I-9 via email. I-9 audits are conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Department of Labor (DOL), who provide written notification through mail only.