USCIS Official Asking You Via Phone or Email for Money? Don't Believe It!

Scammers have been contacting immigration applicants pretending they must send in money.

Problems with the payment portion of an immigration application are not uncommon. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has known been known, among the immigration legal community, for losing checks and for asking for fees which the applicant has already sent in along with their application.

There is one thing, however, that USCIS will not do, and that’s request a new check or other form of payment by calling you on the phone or sending you an email. The agency normally would send a letter or a “Request for Evidence” (RFE) on Form I-797. (See How to Handle a Request for Evidence (RFE) From USCIS.)

Unfortunately, scammers are currently stepping up their efforts to use phone calls and emails to defraud immigrants all over the United States, according to USCIS. The scammers call or email people applying for U.S. immigration benefits and say they are a U.S. government official. They pretend that a problem has arisen with the person’s application and ask for personal and sensitive information, then insist that a new payment be made in order to fix the problem and go forward with the application.

If you receive an email or phone call of this nature, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can also forward the suspicious email to the USCIS Webmaster, at uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov, for review and sharing with law enforcement agencies if appropriate.

Still worried about whether your immigration application is going through the system as it should? You can call USCIS customer service at 800-375-5283 or make an InfoPass appointment to visit a USCIS office in person.