The process for immigrants coming to the United States in search of citizenship or asylum can be incredibly complicated and time-consuming. Moreover, with the current immigration policies put in place by the Trump administration, immigration to the US is more difficult than ever. As such, it is crucial that anyone who desires to come to the United States takes care to avoid consulting with inexperienced attorneys or notarios. These people are either not knowledgeable on US immigration law, or are seeking to take advantage of desperate asylum-seekers for monetary gain.
What is Notario Fraud?
Simply put, notario fraud is a scheme in which scammers take advantage of immigrants by pretending to be licensed attorneys. These scammers seek to make money off of those who are unfamiliar with US immigration law. You may recall a similar scenario that was prevalent during the US housing crisis in 2008-2009 in which inexperienced foreclosure attorneys began offering foreclosure defense services to vulnerable clients.
These notarios, who often speak foreign languages in an attempt to gain trust through cultural familiarity, are hired to handle immigration papers, file taxes, and complete other legal processes on behalf of immigrants. They generally make money by overcharging their clients and stealing money from their clients’ tax returns. Furthermore, any legal paperwork they complete will usually be incomplete or incorrect.
How to Avoid Scams
It can be easy to fall for these scams due to both cultural and language barriers; however, there are a few things you can do to try to avoid these scams.
The first thing you should do is view these tips to avoid scams established by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. This page has instructions to help you avoid scams as well as information as to how to report any scams you might run into.
Next, you should make sure to find an experienced and licensed immigration attorney near you. Any legitimate attorney will be able to help you accurately and efficiently complete any necessary legal paperwork or processes related to your immigration to the United States.
Immigration to the United States can be very difficult, but making sure to hire an experienced immigration attorney can make it much easier. Our attorneys have over 25 years of combined experience in immigration law and are prepared to help you with any legal needs you might have.