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Individuals seeking citizenship the target of phone scam

Obtaining citizenship is the goal for many individuals currently residing in the Miami, Florida area. As these people are likely aware, the path to citizenship can be long, complicated and confusing. People who are interested in the securing citizenship should be aware of a scam that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is currently warning people about. The scam is being facilitated over the telephone. According to the USCIS, the scammers pretend to be officials with the agency when they call those seeking citizenship either as petitioners or applicants. 

Recipients of the calls may believe that the scammers are in fact USCIS employees because of the number that appears on their Caller ID. The scammers are utilizing a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to make it so the phone displays what appears to be a legitimate USCIS phone number. The callers are asking for, and in some situations successfully obtaining:

  • Alien registration numbers (A-numbers)
  • Social Security numbers
  • Passport numbers

The USCIS is making clear that it would never request such information, or payments, in this manner. Any communication it has with people is in letter form. Representatives from the agency indicate that any legitimate correspondence will be done on a piece of paper with the official letterhead.

Anyone who receives such a call is advised to quickly hang-up and contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Of course the best way to handle any citizenship matter is to work with an immigration lawyer. That individual should understand the process well, and let clients know what to expect.

Source: Latinos Post, “USCIS Alert on Telephone Scams Targeting Applicants and Petitioners,” Laura Cañupan, Aug. 23, 2013

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