Top 3 Immigration Scams to Avoid

Top 3 Immigration Scams to Avoid

In this interview, Yakov Spektor shares the top three scams and how to avoid them. Read on to know more.

Michael Levitis 00:06
Welcome back, everybody, this is Michael Levitis from – a legal network where we answer your commonly asked legal questions, and I’m here today with Yakov Spektor, an immigration attorney. Yakov, welcome back! You and I talked at our last session about a very common immigration scam, called a 10 year green card scam. We talked about it because an attorney, a former attorney was arrested in New York, and he got three years sentence for it. Please go back to a previous session and you can see and read all about it. Today we’re going to talk about other immigration scams. Why are we talking about it? Because people who are working to get immigration status in America, they are vulnerable. A lot of them or all of them are immigrants. A lot of them don’t speak English that well, and they can fall prey to victims to scams. Let’s list, what are the top three immigration scams out there and why should avoid them and how should avoid them? Go!

Yakov Spektor 01:20
Before I even start, let me tell you this, this is for information purposes only. That means you want to avoid them. And the reason is not that a lot of people think well, it just not ethical or it’s not moral. We’re not talking about it here. I’m talking about these scams, they’re primarily there to benefit the people who are providing that particular service. Immigration for legals or unscrupulous lawyers, that means you’re going to be the victim, don’t fall prey for that. Now let’s talk about those three. The one that’s on everybody’s mind and the US government actually does an interview, specifically to protect against that particular scam. That’s the marriage Green Card, that’s when people get fake married to get a Green Card. The way this scam works is if you’re that person looking for to get status here in the United States, someone might come up to you and say: hey, you know, what, I know this person or I know this agency, they’ll find the wife for you or the husband for you, you’ll just have to pay them some money. You won’t even have to see your new spouse, you know, you’ll just have to meet, you’ll just have to get married once and then we’ll get you a Green Card, and you’ll have to show up for the interview, everything will be done for you. You have to understand that you are the mark here. You are the victim, you will pay a lot of money essentially to a crook. That crook most likely, is already being investigated by the government. There’s not that many of these entities, the government is very strict when it comes to these points. There is a fake marriage agency. It’s about a 50/50 chance that’s being investigated. Even if you get your Green Card through the agency, who’s to say that it’s not going to be investigated in a couple of years, and then the government will come for your Green Card. It’s just not worth it, guys. Do you want to know about number two? The scam number two, that’s also going to be super important. What do people want to do when they come here? They want to work. The question that we get a lot, when people call us for consultations – can you get me a work permit, in a lot of instances, they don’t really care about their status, they want a work permit, so that they’re able to work here, support their families, make a living. It’s quite natural, it’s quite normal. There’s lots of once again, unscrupulous individuals who will take advantage of that, and they’ll say: you know what, I’ll get you a work permit, even though those people might not be eligible for one. They’ll tell you how this works, because a lot of times those people will get their work permits. So now doesn’t mean that the crook who you just pay $10,000 for a work permit knew something that a good immigration lawyer didn’t? Yes, and what he knew was that there’s a lot of people who are in a desperate situation they don’t know laws and they’re willing to pay a lot of money without doing the research. But let me tell you how this scam works. The work permit is only available to individuals who are waiting for their status. Things take so long, they are sometimes able to apply for work permit for people while they wait sometimes for years. they wait for their applications to go through. Now, a lot of crooks take advantage of that. When they tell you, they’ll get your work permit, well, they will do for you, they’ll file an application for you. Information there that you will sign and you will probably not read, that they really weren’t supposed to file because you weren’t eligible for it in the first place.

Michael Levitis 05:23
So it sounded too good to be true.

Yakov Spektor 05:27
What will happen is that you will get your work permit because that application will be pending for years. But then eventually what will happen is that you will be denied, the work permit will be denied, potentially your case will live and go to immigration court, you won’t even know about it and you might even have deportation order in your hands, and when it’s time for you to fix your status. This time for real, this thing will be hiding in your past and basically will prevent you from getting your status

Michael Levitis 05:58
Yakov, that is a good information, and what is number three?

Yakov Spektor 06:02
Our number three runner up is also something that a lot of people now get offered. That’s essentially filing a fake asylum claim for them, and asylum for those of you who might not know it, is when you’re free to go back to the country where you’re from, because your life might be in danger. Or you might be jailed. Something very-very serious, asylums are definitely even when it’s a very strong asylum claim, it’s never 100% guarantee that you will get it. Even when somebody like me, I’ve been doing asylums for more than 15 years. But when somebody like me is handling the case, there’s simply never a guarantee. Now sometimes I get calls from people who are from Switzerland, and people tell them: oh, yeah, they’ll file asylum for you, asylum from Switzerland. Really?

Michael Levitis 07:02
You see, it’s a sign. If you are an honest attorney, that you advise clients of the risks, you can never guarantee 100% success. I think it’s an unethical and illegal to guarantee 100% success. There’s no such thing in this world.

Yakov Spektor 07:20
Absolutely. When something is too good to be true.

Michael Levitis 07:23
Exactly. Look, what we are doing here is God’s work, because time and time, immigrants are falling prey to these predators who know like you said, people are desperate they’re willing to pay money to come to America, stay in America, work. They offer them things that are too good to be true and things that are fake. Our general advice, and Yakov, correct me if I’m wrong, is that not only is it like you said, unethical, it’s illegal, you could go to prison for committing fraud. And nobody cares that somebody told you about it. Another professional or paralegal or another attorney, you will may also suffer consequences. But most importantly, that may bar you from getting a real status down the road. Right?

Yakov Spektor 08:18
Absolutely. Might not go to jail, but it’s going to really, he’s going to make things very difficult for you in the future.

Michael Levitis 08:24
Exactly. There are so many other legal avenues to pursue, in our immigration system, where an attorney who is skilled, who’s experienced has seen it all knows, Ins and Outs, cannot guarantee but he’s can find for you the right pathway where most likely you could get your papers. So that’s why I suggest, that’s why we picked an attorney like Yakov Spektor, who does only immigration, has been courts for four years, fighting on behalf of his clients. I think it’s a good idea just even if they have somebody else, get a second opinion from Yakov or an attorney like Yakov . If you consult with me first, get a second opinion from someone else. You are an adult, do your research, primarily your case. Exactly. On this note, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is do your research. There’s no excuse for ignorance, in this day and age where attorneys are accessible by zoom, we are doing this on Zoom right now, you can also talk to your attorney on zoom without leaving your house. Do your research on the internet, in many different languages, there is no excuse for ignorance, and that we’re going to end today’s session and we’re going to bring it back very, very soon for more topics. One such topic that I suggested, which is a bit controversial, is the use of paralegals for your immigration work, for your immigration papers. I’ve seen a lot of ads for them. I know a lot of people using paralegals because they are supposedly cheaper. But there’s a price for everything, right? Sometimes you pay cheaper. It could come back and bite you down the earth in your “culo”, if you know what I mean. On this note, have a great day and we will see you very very soon Yakov, appreciate your time. Take care.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is for reference only and might vary depending on your situation. Please always consult your lawyer for legal matters.