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How To Avoid Common Immigration Scams, Part 2

This blog post is part 2 in a series.  If you missed it, please read How To Avoid Common Immigration Scams, Part 1 before reading this post.

Individuals and families require immigration services for a variety of reasons. These can range from immigration visa applications, adjustments of status to permanent residence, citizenship and naturalization advice, work permits, or marriage or adoption paperwork. Unfortunately, each year thousands of people fall victim to scams and dishonest businesses practices in their pursuit of immigration assistance, subjecting them to a financial loss or identity theft. This week's blog will focus on lesser known, but still devastating immigration service scams that people should be aware of to avoid becoming a victim.

A growing number of dishonest or fake immigration businesses are now using the Internet to lure in unsuspecting individuals and families in dire need of immigration services. Scam websites can appear authentic because of official-looking logos or photos, and will even offer official documents for immigration or visa filings. However, many will charge a fee to provide the forms or complete them on your behalf. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS) has their own website where immigration forms, instructions and information are all available for free. Fraudulent immigration websites might also claim to expedite the immigration filing process, but might demand payment or sensitive information, such as Social Security Numbers, for their services.

Individuals and families have also become victims of immigration services scams through spam emails phishing for personal information. Some of these emails might appear with a subject line indicating a person has won a Diversity Visa lottery, or can be entered to win a Diversity Visa for a fee. These emails and their affiliate websites are fraudulent, and are usually attempting to gain sensitive data or financial information to steal money or identities. The U.S. Department of State administers the Diversity Visa program, and will never solicit payment or send DV entrant confirmations by email.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent immigration services is by seeking out those authorized and experienced in all areas of immigration law. Christiansen Law Firm provides clients with honest, efficient and cost-effective immigration and family law services, including family-based immigration, international adoption, citizenship and naturalization, deportation assistance, and immigration appeals. Christiansen Law Firm prides itself on providing dependable immigration advice so individuals and families can make informed decisions and have immigration issues resolved with a positive outcome. Contact Christiansen Law Firm for more information or to schedule a free initial consultation.

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