Immigration and Notario FraudImmigration Fraud image

In certain Spanish-speaking countries,  Notarios Publicos are highly trained legal professionals akin to attorneys who provide legal advice and draft legal documents. In the United States, however, Notaries are state-commissioned officials with narrow witnessing duties and much less discretion.  The Maryland Attorney General also warns of “visa consultants” or “licenciado” claims. Many unethical individuals exploit the confusion over these different roles to take advantage of unsuspecting immigrants.
Notario fraud is a scam in which individuals who are not licensed to practice law in the United States hold themselves out as qualified to assist with immigration and other legal matters. Scammers
  • make victims pay for forms printed off the internet. You can get free copies of immigration forms at;
  • take the victim’s money and never file the necessary documents or file wrong documents;
  • promise to secure benefits that do not exist;
  • file false information without the immigrant’s consent;
  • cause immigration problems instead of cure them--sometimes just to gain more business.
The Maryland Immigration Consultant Act forbids non-lawyers from
(1) Provide legal advice concerning an immigration matter
unless they’re also a U.S. lawyer, certified law student, accredited officials of foreign governments, or a USCIS certified immigration consultant
(2) Make a misrepresentation to influence a client to use their services as an immigration consultant;
(3) Make a statement that they can or will obtain special favors from or have special influence with the United States Department of Homeland Security, the United States Department of Labor, the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Justice, or the United States Department of Commerce;
(4) Collect any fees or other compensation for services not yet performed;
(5) Refuse to return documents supplied by, prepared by, or paid for by a client, at the client's request; or
(6) Represent, advertise, or communicate in any manner that they possesses titles or credentials that would qualify them to provide legal advice or legal services that they do not have.
Report Immigration Fraud