The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, commonly called the USCIS, has uncovered a scam developed to capture personal information from the I-9 Forms. Under the guise of an official appearing email, from a seemingly government email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, employers are being requested to submit information from the I-9 forms for inspection.
It is important to note that USCIS, as well as any other investigating government agency, including ICE, will never request I-9 forms or information obtained from the I-9 form by email or any other method.
Employers should delete any emails requesting emails or uploaded copies of I-9 forms. You should neither respond to these emails nor click the links in them. The body of the email may contain USCIS and Office of the Inspector General labels, your address and a fraudulent download button that links to a non-government web address (uscis-online.org). Do not respond to these emails or click the links in them. Employers are required to retain the I-9 form, but are not required to submit Forms I-9 to USCIS. The full government warning states: Scam Alert: USCIS Does Not Request Forms I-9 by Email
Audits of I-9’s are conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Labor and notification of an upcoming audit is always done by a written notice from the agency. USCIS never requires employers to submit Forms I-9 to USCIS unless they are being audited….never requires an employer to email copies to them. At this time, the Officials will choose where they will conduct a Form I-9 inspection. For example, officials may ask that an employer bring Form I-9’s to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office. Sometimes, employers may arrange for an inspection at the location where the forms are stored.
If you believe that you received a scam email requesting Form I-9 information from USCIS, report it to the Federal Trade Commission. If you are not sure if it is a scam, forward the suspicious email to the USCIS webmaster. USCIS will review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.