CIANA Explains: How Can I Avoid Immigration Scams?


Between January 2016 and September 2018, more than 120 complaints about notaries public and fraudulent lawyers were reported to New York State’s Office for New Americans’ hotline. Fraudulent practices are a growing concern for immigrant communities, particularly with the current administration’s anti-immigrant sentiment and policies driving many to seek legal assistance from attorneys and organizations. This environment has become ripe for immigration fraud, taking advantage of fearful immigrants who are seeking pathways to citizenship.

As a result, an increase in phone scammers claiming to be ICE, IRS, and USCIS have been threatening to arrest and deport immigrants if they don’t pay a sizeable amount of money in the form of gift cards and credit cards. In Yonkers, NY a man who claimed to have federal connections would charge $8,000 to “speed up” processing times for those applying for citizenship.

If you are seeking out legal assistance with your case, it is important to know what kinds of questions to ask and what red flags to look out for to prevent yourself from being scammed by a fraudulent lawyer or organization. CIANA has put together this article to guide those looking for the right immigration attorney to help you through the complex system of immigration in the United States.

The Power is Yours

Before meeting with an immigration attorney, it’s always important to ask questions about how your case stands in the im