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In the wake of Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform announced in 2014, many undocumented and illegal immigrants have been scrambling to immigration agencies to find out what the reform means for them and how they can secure their stay in the United States. Unfortunately, un-accredited immigration representatives and pseudo-attorneys have been coming out of the woodwork to exploit people seeking information and guidance.

If the immigration reform applies to you or a loved one, and you are currently seeking legal advice, please cautious. Beware of any agency or self-proclaimed attorney that offers to help you submit an application or request related to the reform initiatives. Also, look out for the common immigration scams detailed below.

Telephone Scams

If an individual posing as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) personnel or other government official calls your phone and asks for sensitive personal information (Social Security, Passport number, credit card, etc.), just say “No, thank you” and hang up. The USCIS will not call you to ask for payment or personal information over the phone.

Notario Publicos

While in Spanish-speaking nations, “notarios” are legitimate attorneys with special legal powers, in the U.S., notary publics are simply administrative witnesses that certainly do not have the authority to provide immigration-related services or any other legal services. Avoid anyone who makes any claims to the contrary.

Dot-Com Websites and Shady E-mails

Do not acknowledge any websites or e-mails that make mention of Green Card or Visa lotteries. They are simply fraudulent and should never be trusted. It’s a good rule of thumb to not respond to any emails asking for personal or immigration information unless it’s from your attorney.

For immediate legal assistance from a legitimate, established immigration law firm, call the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. at (800) 792-9889.