The United States is undoubtedly a dream destination for skilled professionals worldwide. This Promised Land has fulfilled the dreams of countless people and delivered everything a migrant wishes to live a happy and content life. However, many notorious elements outside prey on innocent people’s goals and scam them with fake promises and deals. The U.S Department of Homeland Security continues to see a rise in the number of immigration scams targeting students and US skilled visa applicants.
These scams target these individuals and mislead them to illegally obtain money or personal information from them. The scammers contact their targets through various means, including telephonic calls, emails, or leaving intimidating messages on social media. Immigration fraudsters target their victims while their file is being processed. The lengthy and complicated process often makes it difficult for the aspirants to decipher between fake and genuine information. More often than not, they fall into the trap laid down by immigration fraudsters.
Unfortunately, scammers continue to use sophisticated tools to target victims. Many people have reported receiving scam calls from fraudulent consultants claiming themselves to be U.S immigration officers. Some scammers master the art of manipulation. They know how to change the caller ID to look legitimate. Scammers may use personal information obtained from the visa applicant only to threaten them later to receive more money because of the incomplete documentation.
When seeking immigration guidance, you may find websites that look precisely like USCIS but are fake. They often use names like “U.S. Immigration” and display background and pictures of American flags or visa officers. But if the website address doesn’t end in ‘.gov,’ it’s not genuine or related to USCIS. The site might ask you to submit a fee even for forms that are free of cost and might steal your personal information.
What should you know?
- Real government websites always end with the domain ‘.gov.’
- USCIS forms are free. If you are asked to pay before downloading a form, you have landed on a fake website.
- USCIS never asks you to transfer money to a specific person.
- Don’t let someone keep your original documents.
- Always call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 in case of any doubts or information.
Other important points:
- No government agency calls you for money
- No government agency asks you for immediate payment via unusual means.
- Don’t fall for fake email IDs, websites, caller IDs, etc.
- Spread awareness on social media platforms about encountering scammers.
- Don’t attend such calls and immediately complain to the Federal Trade Commission.
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