Avoid the Scams

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Beware of citizenship scams! While many individuals may provide you with immigration services, not all are authorized by the USCIS to do so. The USCIS provides information on how to protect yourself, a list of common immigration services scams, state-by-state information on where you can report an immigration services scam, advice on finding authorized legal help, and information on becoming an authorized legal immigration service provider.

For more detailed information, please visit USCIS.


Avoid the Scams:

Need help finding authorized legal help to answer your questions?

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has the following lists available:

Common Scams:

"Notarios Publicos"

Spanish for "Notary Public." A notario public is not authorized to provide you with any legal services related to immigration. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for the Department of Justice (DOJ)-recognized organization can give you legal advice.

Payments by Phone or Email

USCIS will never ask you to transfer money to an individual. We do not accept Western Union or Paypal as payment for immigration fees. In addition, we will never ask you to pay fees to a person on the phone or by email. You can pay some immigration fees online only if you use myUSCIS.

Winning the Visa Lottery

The U.S. Department of State (State Department) manages the Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Lottery Visa or Green Card Visa. The State Department will never email you about being selected in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.

Scam Websites

Some websites claim to be affiliated with USCIS and offer step-by-step guidance on completing a USCIS application or petition. Make sure your information is from uscis.gov or is affiliated with uscis.gov. Make sure the website address ends with .gov. Please remember that we will never ask you to pay to download USCIS forms. The forms are free on the USCIS.gov website.

Job Offers

Beware of companies offering a job from overseas or by email. If you receive a suspicious job offer by email before you leave your country to come to the U.S., it may be a scam, especially if you are asked to pay money to receive a job offer.

Scam Targeting Students

If you are an international student outside of the U.S. and want to come to the U.S. for education, make sure you are applying to an accredited college or university. Look for your school on the Council for Higher Education web page.

Help fight Immigration Scams:

USCIS wants your help fighting back with immigration scams. Use the tools available to empower yourself and help others.

You received a suspicious email, what do you do?

Forward the email to the USCIS: USCIS.Webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov

Did you witness an immigration scam?

Let the Federal Trade Commission know by reporting two ways:        
1.) Call 877-FTC-HELP
2.) File a complaint online to local and state authorities.

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