Immigrants: Don't let notarios and scammers take advantage of you
This one-page resource highlights the common types of scams immigrants are exposed to when seeking assistance with their immigration matter. Share this document to help your community avoid these harmful practices.
Your options for legal status can be very confusing, especially when immigration procedures change quickly. Dishonest individuals know this and may try to trick you and steal your money.
Some misuse the titles “notario publico” or “immigration consultant.” They will try to deceive you into believing that they are experts on immigration law and have permission to give you legal advice about your immigration case when they do not.
Many of these individuals lack sufficient training or knowledge of immigration law and their advice could create serious problems with your immigration case. They could even leave you in a worse position than where you started.
Do not fall for their tricks! Be aware of the ways that dishonest individuals may try to trick you, including:
Providing false information on an application and telling you this will increase your chances of approval.
- Charging you lots of money, but never filing your application or showing up to your court hearing.
- Telling you that they have special relationships with USCIS officers and promising that they can get favors for you.
- Charging you just to provide you with an immigration form to fill out.
- Telling you not to show up for your court hearing because they will go to court for you.
- Pressuring you to sign blank application forms and saying that they will complete the forms later.
- Keeping your original documents such as a birth certificate or passport and forcing you to pay money to get these documents back.
- Telling you they only accept cash payments and cannot give you a receipt.
Even well-meaning people can give bad legal advice. Always get help from someone who is qualified to help you with your immigration matter. Find qualified legal help at cliniclegal.org/directory.
This handout is not legal advice. It is for informational purposes only.