Visa applicants are often the subject of scams and other fraudulent activity and the immigration lawyers at Shapiro Law Group have become aware of a new scam targeting H1-B visa applicants that arose over the summer. According to an article in India West, H1-B applicants have been receiving calls from scammers pretending to be agents of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), who then demand significant sums of money to fix alleged discrepancies in their processed visas.
The calls come from the 911 emergency service system and, since the scammers have a great deal of information about the intended victim including passport and visa control numbers, many call recipients mistakenly believe that the caller is actually from USCIS.
Please remember that the USCIS never asks for personal information or money over the phone. If you receive a telephone call from anyone – including someone identifying himself or herself as a USCIS representative – you should never give payment or personal information over the phone. Instead, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable immigration lawyer like the Chicago immigration attorneys at the Shapiro Law Group. You can also contact the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283, or make an InfoPass appointment by visiting our website at http://infopass.uscis.gov/, to check on your immigration record.
If you have been a victim of a telephone scam, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or appropriate state authority to report the incident. You may also want to contact an experienced immigration attorney in order to protect your legal rights.
More information on where to report scams in your state can be obtained at www.uscis.gov/avoidscams.
To help protect the public from scammers, the USCIS launched the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL) Initiative, “to combat immigration services scams by equipping applicants, legal service providers and community-based organizations with the knowledge and tools they need to detect and protect themselves from dishonest practices.”
The Chicago immigration attorneys at the Shapiro Law Group are dedicated to helping individuals and businesses with a variety of immigration needs. We are committed to ensuring that foreign nationals, visa applicants, and green card holders are not the victims of scams and other unscrupulous behavior. If you have been the victim of this telephone scam or any other, you should contact our office immediately (847) 564-0712 to speak with an experienced Illinois immigration lawyer.