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Immigration Scams

7/27/2012

Earlier this month, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission warned of possible notario scams following the federal government’s recent immigration announcement.

On June 15, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued the Deferred Action Process for Young People memorandum. According to the Department of Homeland Security website, "certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings."

The secretary gave U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) 60 days to create a process to accept these requests and urged eligible individuals not to submit any requests before the process is ready.

Until the process is in place, the Attorney General and the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission urged anyone interested in pursuing participation in the deferred action process not to be deceived into paying for expensive assistance to apply. Read the warning here.
 
Notario scams generally target Spanish-speaking immigrants and involve people who call themselves notarios or immigration experts. Although notarios are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice, these scammers charge money for immigration issues they cannot handle.

To avoid notario scams:

  • Get immigration advice from U.S. government websites. Make sure the website ends in .gov.
  • Don't let anyone keep your original documents, such as a birth certificate.
  • Never sign a form that has not been completely filled out, contains false information, or that you don't understand.

To learn more about notario scams, visit the Ohio Attorney General's website at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. An information card in English and Spanish can be viewed and downloaded there by searching for “notario scams” from the home page or going to "Briefing Room," then "Publications" under "Espa├▒ol."

Consumers who believe they have been a victim of a notario scam can file a complaint by calling 800-282-0515 or by visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.

To learn more about the deferred action process for young people, individuals can call the CIS hotline at 800-375-5283 or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's hotline at 888-351-4024. They also can visit www.uscis.gov.