The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have issued a joint fraud alert highlighting their awareness of multiple investment scams targeting foreign nationals who seek to become lawful permanent residents through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. To help avoid scams, the SEC and USCIS recommend person interested in the EB-5 program take the following steps:
- Confirm that the regional center has been designated by USCIS.
- Obtain copies of documents provided to USCIS.
- Request investment information in writing.
- Ask if promoters are being paid.
- Seek independent verification.
- Examine structural risk.
- Consider the developer’s incentives.
- Look for warning signs of fraud, such as promises of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident, guaranteed investment returns or no investment risk, overly consistent high investment returns, unregistered investments, unlicensed sellers, and layers of companies run by the same individuals.