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Immigrants Targeted in Application Scam

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently sent out an advisory announcement noting that people posing as government officials are calling or emailing immigrants to tell them that there is a problem with their visa application or the application is incomplete. To fix the problem or to complete the application, the impostor will ask the unsuspecting victim for personal information as well as payment.

USCIS will never ask for a person’s personal information, nor will they demand payment over the phone or by email. If the agency needs payment, they will contact the person through the mail using official USCIS letterhead.

Scammers may ask for payments through Western Union or PayPal. USCIS does not accept these forms of payment. Online payments may be made only through the myUSCIS website. All other payments must be made by check or money order and made out to “Department of Homeland Security”; it should never be made out to an individual.

For those who have received these scam emails or phone calls, the USCIS urges reporting it to the Federal Trade Commission at If the person is unsure that the email is a scam, they can forward it to the USCIS Webmaster at [email protected].

If you need assistance filling out a visa application or if you believe you have received a suspicious phone call or email regarding your application, please call the experienced immigration law attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP at (212) 267-2555.

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Immigration Consequences of Criminal and Fraudulent Conduct
The immigration consequences of criminal or fraudulent conduct can be harsh and often illogical. Even a very minor offense could have a dramatic immigration consequence, including deportation, detention without bond, being denied naturalization, a visa or re-entry into the United States. Likewise, the use of fake or fraudulent documents, aliases, and other misrepresentations can have similar immigration consequences. Kerry Bretz and Bretz & Coven have been counseling non-citizen criminal defendants, as well as their lawyers, for over 20 years. We have a long history of strategizing deportation and removal defenses, as well as applications for waivers, in very complicated cases.

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