Hispanic Heritage Month: Protecting Your Community
Some people have no scruples. They take advantage of any situation to defraud others and steal their money. You can help stop them. If you or anyone you know is going through the immigration process, be alert to unauthorized immigration service providers. They will take your money and either do nothing for you or make your immigration situation even worse. This type of fraud is about more than money: it can mean the difference between a legal status and the rejection or denial of benefits. Here are some tips:
- Don’t pay a notario, notario público, or a public notary for legal advice on immigration. They are not attorneys and can’t provide legal advice or talk to federal agencies for you.
- Never pay for forms. Government forms are free and you don’t have to pay for them. You may have to pay when you present the forms to USCIS, but not to get the forms.
- Get immigration information only from U.S. Government websites. Many scammers have fake websites that look similar to government sites. Make sure you type the right address and that the URL ends in .gov.
- Don’t reply or click on emails or text that say they’re from the Government and ask for your personal information. The Government doesn’t ask for your information over email or text.
The immigration process is complex and it’s natural to want an easy and quick resolution. But it’s better to be informed and avoid falling for the lies of people who are out to scam you. You can find legitimate help if you need it, although it may take a little bit of research.
If you’ve already been a victim of a scam related to the immigration process, you can file a complaint with the FTC. The more we know, the more we can watch out for unauthorized immigration services providers.
Watch this video to learn more about how to spot an immigration scam and get legitimate help.