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Newcomers, Immigrants, Refugees, & International Ed LibGuide: Avoiding Scams

USCIS Guidance on Avoiding Scams

Due to an increase in predatory behavior targeting individuals who may partake in Uniting for Ukraine and the Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans and their immediate family members, USCIS is asking potential supporters and beneficiaries to be cautious of scams and rumors.  More information on scams and legal services is available at the USCIS Scams, Fraud, and Misconduct webpage.

Some common scams and misleading offers to be aware of include:

  1. Government impersonators: Scammers may pose as USCIS officials. USCIS will only contact you through official government channels and will not contact you through your personal social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).

  2. Misleading offers of support: Be aware of individuals who attempt to contact you online or through your social media accounts to offer to be your supporter or connect you to a supporter in exchange for a fee or biographic information.

    • Supporters should be able to provide financial support to beneficiaries for up to a 2-year period of parole.

    • Beneficiaries are not obligated to repay, reimburse, work for, serve, marry, or otherwise compensate their supporter in exchange for the potential supporter submitting Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, on their behalf or for providing financial support while they are in the United States.

    • Find more information on potential exploitation and abuse in the Uniting For Ukraine Understand Your Rights guide.

  3. Scam websites: Some websites claim to be affiliated with USCIS and offer step-by-step guidance on completing a USCIS application, petition, or request.

    • Make sure your information is from,, or is affiliated with Make sure the website address ends with .gov.

  4. Payments by phone or email: USCIS will never ask you to transfer money to an individual. It does not accept Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal, or gift cards as payment for immigration fees. USCIS will never ask you to pay fees to a person on the phone or by email.

  5. Notarios públicos and unauthorized practitioners of immigration law: In the United States, a notario público is not authorized to provide you with any legal services related to immigration benefits. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ)-recognized organization can give you legal advice.

For more information about finding legal services, visit the USCIS website. Contact a qualified legal services organization for help. A list of qualified organizations can be found here.

Voces de la Frontera - Legal Services

Voces de la Frontera specializes in worker's rights and immigration matters.

James Place Immigration Services

With locations in Waukesha and Milwaukee, James Place provides legal advice and assistance in filing applications for immigrants and refugees.

Catholic Charities Milwaukee Refugee and Immigration Services

From Website - "Our goal is to replace rumors with accurate information about immigration in the United States. We are an attorney-driven program, here to help you understand your best legal options."

Free Legal Answers

Wisconsin Free Legal Answers is a virtual legal advice clinic in which qualifying users post civil legal questions at no cost to be answered by pro bono attorneys licensed in their state. 

International Institute of Wisconsin - Immigration & Citizenship

The International Institute of Wisconsin has been providing services to immigrants in the U.S. on their path to permanent residency and citizenship. 

"Welcome Newcomers" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by Elizabeth Kennedy and Gateway Technical College Libraries.