Here’s the Scoop on the Form I-9 Fraud

Here’s the Scoop on the Form I-9 Fraud

This holiday season, as you sip your cup of cheer, make your to-do lists and check them twice, there might be a sort of Grinch lurking in your inbox. 

This article was originally written and published by PrimePay. Click here to read article online.

This holiday season, as you sip your cup of cheer, make your to-do lists and check them twice, there might be a sort of Grinch lurking in your inbox. 

We (unfortunately) hear about new scams and new techniques from cyber criminals all too frequently. The latest? Well, as employers, you should be on watch.

As with anything, education surrounding these scams is critical. Here’s the scoop on the Form I-9 fraud:

First, what is a Form I-9?

The federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States.

To comply with the law, the Form I-9 is required for all U.S. employers to verify the employment eligibility and identity of each employee hired to work in the U.S. (including U.S. citizens). Employees are directed to complete the first section of the form. Employers must complete the second and third sections if necessary.

U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains that you must have a Form I-9 for every person on your payroll who is required to complete it. These forms must be retained for a certain period of time, which you can find more information on by clicking here.

The scam

According to the USCIS, employers have been receiving scam emails that request Form I-9 information. The catch? It appears as though the email is actually coming from the USCIS.

The sender

The emails are coming from the address: news@uscis.gov. This is NOT a USCIS email address.

Know this: You are not required to submit Forms I-9 to the USCIS. In fact, they aren’t submitted anywhere. But you MUST keep them on file, because if you don’t, and you get audited – you could face penalties.

The email text

The rest of the body copy in 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 URL: uscis-online.org.

It is important that you do not respond to these emails or click the links inside.

The next steps

If you think you did receive one of these emails requesting Form I-9 information from USCIS, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Unsure of the legitimacy? Forward your suspicious email to the USCIS webmaster.

It’s a good idea to share this information with your employees, too. As mentioned, the more education surrounding these tricky cybercriminals, the better.

To learn more about this scam and more about Forms I-9, click here.

 

For further assistance, please contact your Dickerson Account Executive.