Scams Against Immigrants

There are scams that target people who are trying to immigrate to the U.S. You can lose money in those scams. These scams also can hurt your chance to immigrate. Learn how to avoid a scam.

How can I avoid scams in the immigration process?

  • Do not go to a notario, notario publico, or a notary public for legal In the U.S., notarios are not lawyers. They cannot give you legal advice.
  • Never pay for government forms from the S. government. Government forms are free.
  • Get immigration information from S. government websites. You might see a website that looks like it is from the government. Make sure that the website address includes .gov. That means the website is from the U.S. government.

What else can I do to protect myself?

  • Never sign a form that is Never sign a form that has false information in it.
  • Do not let anyone keep your original documents, like your passport or birth
  • Keep a copy of every document you turn Keep a copy of every letter you get from the U.S. government.
  • You will get a receipt when you turn in your The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will give it to you. Keep the receipt. You will need it to check on your application.

How can I get help with immigration?

Immigration can be complicated. It can feel frustrating until you find the right kind of help.

  • Get free immigration forms:
  • Learn who can help you and where to find help:
    • order the free brochure from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), I Need Immigration Help. Who Can Help Me?
    • find the brochure online at
    • call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 to get a free copy sent to you

What if I paid someone who did not help me?

Immigration scams are illegal. Report what happened to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC uses complaints to build cases against scammers. Any information you can give helps investigators.

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