Immigration is a complex process that involves many steps and deadlines. As a result, immigrants must seek professional assistance to ensure they are navigating the process correctly.
Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the situation to conduct notario fraud. Falling victim to this form of fraud can deprive you of your money, while also preventing you from becoming a citizen. Here are a few things to watch for to protect yourself.
How does notario fraud work?
Notario fraud involves a person misrepresenting themselves as a qualified professional capable of providing legal advice related to immigration. In some cases, a person may claim they are a “notario publico”, or a notary public in English. In other countries, these professionals have legal licenses and training, which qualifies them to provide advice and representation. However, notaries public in the U.S. simply witness the signing of official forms and lack essential legal training.
Notario fraud can also involve other types of misrepresentation. For instance, the person may claim they have the legal background needed to complete and file forms on your behalf. They may represent themselves as a lawyer even when they have no verifiable legal training.
How can it harm immigrants?
Notario fraud can cause many negative outcomes. For instance, the person may request large sums of money and never follow through with their promises. Because they lack legal knowledge, they are likely to make mistakes when it comes to forms and filings. As a result, you may end up failing to obtain citizenship. You may also face deportation due to mistakes and inaccuracies.
The best thing you can do to avoid notario fraud is always work with qualified individuals. This requires requesting information on licensing and credentials before accepting help from a person.