Watch out for this new I-9 scam

Watch out for emails from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asking about employees’ I-9 forms – they’re most likely a scam.

A new email scam has been using a fake USCIS email address (news@uscis.gov) to request employee info, although the USCIS never requires copies of I-9 forms to be sent via email.

The body of the scam email may use USCIS and Office of the Inspector General labels, your company’s mailing address and a download link to a non-government web address (uscis-online.org). Don’t respond to these emails or click the links.

I-9 audits aren’t conducted by the USCIS, and if your company’s being audited, you’ll always receive written notification from either the Department of Labor or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Steps to avoid scams

The best way to ensure your company’s info stays safe is to warn your employees about the scam and show them what the fake email may look like, so they can be on the lookout.

If an employee isn’t sure whether an email is real, have him or her contact IT to check it out – it might take some extra time, but it’s better to spend the time now avoiding a breach rather than dealing with the aftermath.

In the case of a fake email asking for I-9 info, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. If you or your employees aren’t sure whether the email is a scam, forward it to the USCIS webmaster at uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov to double-check.

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