How to Avoid Immigration Scams

Unfortunately, international students, non-immigrants, as well as immigrants are targets of scams. We have a few tips on how to avoid immigration scams.

Often times there are news stories about international students receiving emails or phone calls from someone saying they are from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) claiming the student needs to pay some type of fee.


International students, other non-immigrants, as well as immigrants can be targets of “scams”, which means someone is lying to you to get something, usually money.

If you receive a phone call or email asking you to make a payment, STOP. DON’T DO ANYTHING.

USCIS officials will never ask for payment over the phone or via email. If they do need a payment, you will be notified with a letter on official stationary and you will receive it in the mail.

How to Report a Scam 

  1. If you do receive a phone call, email, or witness a scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting or by calling 877-FTC-HELP.
  2. If you receive a suspicious email, forward it to the USCIS Webmaster email box at
  3. Report it to the local authorities in your area, that way they can see if certain areas are being targeted. You can view authorities in your area by visiting

Who Can Help You with Immigration Questions

If you do have immigration questions you can contact:

  1. Call USCIS customer service at 800-375-5283 (for deaf/hard of hearing 800-767-1833)
  2. Ask Emma, the virtual assistant who can answer questions
  3. You can find local immigration attorneys/service providers
  4. You can attend an upcoming outreach event and talk to someone in person. Check out upcoming events at
  5. You can schedule an appointment to visit your local USCIS office


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