While many immigrants in California are anxiously waiting for President Obama’s executive orders regarding immigration to take effect, it is likely that scammers have already started to make their move. Immigration scams are nothing new. However, far too many people fall for the false promises offered, only to find themselves in a worse position after-the-fact.
Immigration advocacy groups in Southern California are working hard to spread the word to immigrants and their families of potential schemes. The immigration process can be confusing and frightening to work through alone, and scammers are using that to their advantage. They may offer themselves as notaries or consultants and charge thousands of dollars for their services. One woman reportedly paid $5,000 to an individual who claimed to be a notary and offered to help her attain a green card. He vanished soon after the money was pai, leaving her without the promised document and out a great deal of money.
While hearing these types of stories may make immigrants want to try and work through the process alone, they need to know that there are those who can actually help and do hold proper licensing and are recognized by the Justice Department . While it is understandable for immigrants to want a quick fix, taking the time to research a consultant’s or legal adviser’s credibility can save them money and heartache. As soon as immigration scammers get their money, it is likely that money will never be recovered by the victims.
California residents who are in need of legitimate legal services can seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney. Those who are licensed and recognized by the state can help through every stage of the immigration process. They will work hard to get their clients the legal documents needed to work, live and gain access to public services.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, “Concerns Mount Over Immigration Scams“, Amy Corral and Randy Mac, Dec. 3, 2014