smartconsumer: Notario Fraud - Do

Notario Fraud

{What to Know} {What to Do}

Immigration cases can be difficult. You need help from someone who can handle your forms and meetings correctly. Honest people you trust, like your family or friends, may offer help. These helpers should write or translate what you tell them to. But they should not give you legal advice. And they should not charge you a fee.
Paying people who advertise their services either by word-of-mouth or in print and radio ads, can cost you much more than money. These scams can take away your chance to immigrate legally.
Watch out for:

  • Websites that look like U.S. government sites, but are not. Always make sure that“.gov” is included in the website address.

  • People who are charging for government forms. There is never a charge for immigration forms. They can be accessed online here or in the nearest immigration office. 

  • People who want to keep your original documents, like a passport or birth certificate, never give your original documents.

  • People asking you to sign a blank form.

  • People who advertise their services, claiming they can get your application approved.

  • People who charge fees (often requiring cash) but cannot give you legal help.

  • Keep a copy of every document you turn in. Keep a copy of every letter you get from the U.S. government.

  • You will get a receipt when you turn in your forms. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service(USCIS) will give it to you. Keep the receipt. You will need it to check on your application.

  • Only a lawyer, or accredited representative can help you with your immigration process.

  • People can help you with translation services, but not legal services.
What happens if I paid a Notario already?
You will need an immigration lawyer’s help. Many people who are scammed lose their money, especially if they paid in cash. And many times people have serious problems with their immigration because of the scam. A lawyer or an accredited representative can help you figure out your immigration status.
You should report what happened to the Federal Trade Commission (the FTC). Call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357, or go online to file your complaint.
Immigration scams are illegal. The FTC uses the complaints it gets to build cases against scammers. Any information you can give, no matter how much, can help investigators.
You can also file a complaint against Notarios who advertise that they can help you get your citizenship with the DCP at
And call 860.713.6021 at the DCP to request copies of Notario Fraud Fotonovella, one of a series of Fotonovellas put out by the FTC.

Content Last Modified on 3/9/2017 12:55:58 PM