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Resources for Victims of Immigration Fraud

Immigrant Affairs Unit

The Immigrant Affairs Unit addresses the victimization of immigrants.  Immigrants seeking residency or citizenship are often preyed upon by criminals who steal from them by employing a variety of schemes.  Deceitful attorneys or other individuals and agencies that offer assistance to immigrants may demand large sums of money for services they have no intention or ability to provide.  Undocumented immigrants may also be targeted for criminal schemes and exploitation related to their employment, wages, and housing.  The program is meant to aid and encourage both documented and undocumented immigrant victims and witnesses who may fear cooperating with law enforcement because of their immigration status.

Examples of frauds/scams the program investigates

  • Individuals or immigration service providers, who represent themselves to be attorneys or who provide legal advice when they are not licensed attorneys;
  • Individuals who pretend to be ICE agents that can provide or obtain special treatment or services;
  • Individuals or businesses that promise immigrants employment and or work visas they cannot provide;
  • Construction companies that hire immigrants to work on government funded projects but do not pay them the salary required by law;
  • Individuals who provide false investment opportunities or engage in pyramid schemes;
  • Individuals who produce and sell fraudulent social security cards, licenses, passports and other documents;
  • Individuals or businesses that offer housing and other services but just take your money and disappear;

How to get help

Regardless of immigration status, individuals with concerns or issues related to their immigration status and the criminal justice system can make complaints over the telephone to the Immigration Affairs Unit Hotline at 212-335-3600.  

The services we provide include:

  • Fraud Prevention Education
  • Community Outreach
  • Referral Services

Other Important Telephone Numbers

To file a complaint against an attorney with an office in Manhattan or the Bronx:

Departmental Disciplinary Committee (DDC), 1st Dept.

To get a referral for a private lawyer:

NYC Bar Association Legal Referral Service

To file a complaint against an Immigration Service Provider:
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs

To get a referral for legal and social service providers:

NY Immigration Hotline

To confirm whether an individual is a licensed attorney within NYS:

NYS Unified Court System, Attorney Registration Unit