One Park Plaza
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: (213)383-3222
Fax: (213)365-9922
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2/9/2022 Issue
    What is a SCAM?
           Some definitions: (a) Fraudulent or deceptive act; (b) An illegal plan for making money, especially a plan that involves TRICKING people; (c) A fraudulent scheme, especially for making a QUICK profit.
           In other words: it is an illegal idea to TRICK a person into giving money to a SCAMMER, so that the Scammer can make a QUICK profit.
           How does the Scammer trick the victim? By gaining the victim’s CONFIDENCE and making the victim believe that they would benefit. Sometimes the victim knows that the idea is illegal, sometimes the victim does not know. The Scammer always knows.
           Why is the scammer’s profit quick? Because in most cases, after receiving the money, or part of it, the scammer simply disappears. And when he or she does not disappear, the scammer still feels PROTECTED, because the victim is either unable or afraid to complain.

           There are many scams in the world. The FBI even publishes a whole list of scams on its website. In our particular world, the world of IMMIGRATION, we see and hear about many IMMIGRATION SCAMS, and many victims – who suffer not only money loss but also real damage to their immigration chances.
           Why are there so many IMMIGRATION SCAMS?
           Because in recent years it became very difficult to obtain immigration benefits in LEGAL ways, and many non-citizen are desperate, so much that they become easy victims to SCAMMERS.


           A “friend” tells a non-citizen that they know somebody (a lawyer, a consultant, an immigration person, etc.) who is able to obtain the desired employment card – for a “modest” fee. The victim agrees.
           A meeting is arranged, maybe in an office, maybe in a coffee shop. The scammer (male or female) gains the confidence of the victim with all kinds of Forms, gets from the victim all kinds of documents, makes the victim sign forms of different colors – and collects half of the agreed fee – and also enough money for FILING FEES to the government.
           The scammer then prepares a package containing fraudulent petition and application, on behalf of the victim – supported by a FAKE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE between the victim and a non-existent American citizen spouse. The scammer sends the package in to the USCIS, with the required payments for FILING FEES.
           The scammer receives the official filing fee receipts, meets again with the victim, convinces the victim that an application for employment authorization is coming, hands over the filing fee receipts, collects the balance of the agreed fee – and disappears.
           The victim receives – or not – the EAD (Employment Authorization Document) and then gets entangled with government requests to provide proof that the marriage is genuine. Maybe even to
appear for an interview at USCIS
with the American citizen spouse (who does not exist).
The damage? Loss of a lot of money and a stain on the victim’s record for attempting to get an immigration benefit by a SHAM (fraudulent) marriage.
           And the poor (or foolish) victim did not even know that they were saddled with an American citizen spouse.


           Sometimes the non-citizen victim (male or female) knows that they are taking part in an illegal scam, because they were offered an “arranged” marriage to an American citizen –for MONEY.
           Sometimes the arranged marriage is not for money, but as a FRIENDLY arrangement: a friend offers to marry the non-citizen as a “favor”, to help in getting legal status.
           One way or the other, these arrangements usually fail, for several reasons: First, immigration officers are experienced. They have seen it all. They are very good in “smelling” out fake marriages. Second, the American citizen friend turns out to be not so “FRIENDLY” – they start making demands, or they get tired of the arrangement, or the non-citizen finds a real partner for a genuine marriage.
           The damage? (a) loss of money and (b) loss of years, and (c) a record of SHAM marriage with USCIS, which may mean a BAR from ever getting a Green Card.

           From time to time, a potential client would tell me about a possibility of getting married to a U.S. citizen, and ask: Should I do it?
           My answer is: if it is genuine, if you really intend to be married and live like a real family – go ahead and get married. But -
           If it is an “arrangement” of one kind or another – DON’T DO IT, because your chances to fail and get caught are very high – and your immigration punishment would be beyond any remedy. And –
           If you insist on doing it anyway – go and find yourself another lawyer.
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222