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Protecting immigrants from common scams

Immigrants living in Pennsylvania may benefit from learning more about some of the common scams that may be prevalent in the state, as described by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The USCIS claims that the executive action announced by President Obama on Nov. 20 may lead to an increase in the number of scams targeting immigrants in the present day and near future.

Many of these scams may attempt to solicit individuals with offers to help complete the application process with the USCIS. However, the USCIS warns immigrants that applications and requests under the order are not being received by the agency currently. In addition, any organizations claiming to be associated with the Immigration and Naturalization Service may be attempting to scam immigrants. The INS has been defunct since 2003.

Immigrants may be targeted telephone, online and notary public frauds. Furthermore, local businesses might also make promises to provide employment authorization documentation, green cards visas. However, these businesses typically charge immigrants fees in excess of what the USCIS charges for application or processing fees for services one might do themselves. Some websites attempt to swindle immigrants by claiming to be associated with the USCIS, charging fees to for forms that the government provides free.

Immigrants who feel victimized or suspicious of a fraud might benefit from confiding in legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to investigate the allegations and help identify the parties attempting to perpetrate the scam. Lawyers might also be able to assist immigrants with other aspects of the citizenship application process as well.

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