A new kind of low

We’ve written about notarios and scams in the immigration process time and time and time again. The story is nearly always along these lines:

  • Person needs immigration help.
  • Person finds “help” from someone claiming to be qualified – a notario, for example.
  • Person loses a whole lot of money – and possibly the chance to immigrate – because the notario charged them but did nothing. Or charged them and did everything wrong.

Unfortunately, it’s a story we hear often from legal services, attorneys general, other federal agencies, and community partners across the country.

And now, we’ve heard of a new bottom-feeding twist on this scheme: Not content to advertise their services in shop windows or local papers, notarios now are visiting federal detention facilities, promising the world to people who’ve been detained on immigration-related charges. People in detention, who often are in great need of help, trust notarios and pay them exorbitant amounts of money. If they’re lucky, it could help – but, usually, they get nothing in return. Or worse, they get bad advice that leaves them worse off than when they started.

“Talk about a captive audience,” says Joel Cruz-Esparza with the New Mexico Attorney General’s office. “These folks are down on their luck, and the last thing they need is for a fast talking con artist to make them a bunch of bogus promises and take their last dollar.”

So what to do? Spread the word. People in the immigration process need good, clear information about what to do and who can help. Start here. Order these free materials in many languages and send them to anyone who can get the information into the hands of people who need it.

And then report the bad guys. We want to bring cases against them and shut them down. And so do the Attorneys General. And US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). And the Department of Justice. We talk to each other and share consumer complaints, so let us know when you see this kind of behavior.

Tagged with: immigration, notario, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Uh...if all those federal agencies want to shut down notario scams in detention facilities...why do those agencies let them into detention facilities in the first place?

Amen or prosicute them.

This does not surprise me at all!! Our country is badly broken!! These scam artists stop at nothing; their agendas are far reaching, to say the least!!

THANKS for the tip

So let the prisons start by not letting any visitors in who cannot name a detainee, and are not a family member who can actually help. That will stop that scam quickly. Don't tell me detainees have 'rights' as illegals for visitations privileges!

On 6/28/2014 I received a call from man saying he received an alert that my Windows software warranty has expired and that they need to check for alerts or my computer will be crashing very soon. I asked who he worked for and he replied that his company Xpert wizard works as a servicing wing of Microsoft Windows Software. I also asked what state the office was located and was told that his office was located in Massachusetts but that they have offices all over the United States and that they are a U.S. Company. I asked him if he was from India as his voice sounded Indian or Pakistani and he stated India and that his name was Neil Johnson working as team support for Xpert wizard and gave me this direct line number: (617)862-9272 I was told that if I had any future issues with my computer that I should contact him directly at this number. This was supposedly to warranty or protect my computer for lifetime service. I immediately felt that something was wrong about this situation after having allowed someone to invade my PC space and researched this online scam and made call to Suntrust Bank the next morning to inform them that I had fallen victim to a computer scam. I also system restored my computer as the internet stopped working correctly and was running slowly. I then ran Norton antivirus and readjusted all of my security settings in my computer to attempt to prevent further issues from arising. I changed all passwords to any valuable or regularly used accounts

Phone logs from 6/28/2014 as follows….

Name unavailable 8577205631 1:00pm

Woodbury CT 2034052233 2:14pm

Unknown name private number 2:15pm

Name unavailable 8577205631 2:17pm

Unknown name private number 2:17pm

Woodbury CT 2034052233 2:22pm

Unknown name private number 2:26pm

Skype User 6617400240 2:20pm

Woodbury CT 2034052233 2:50pm

Name unavailable 5042096344 3:17pm

Cell phone NV 6466249999 4:02pm

Cell phone NV 6466249999 4:03pm

Received another call today but did not answer as they had informed me on 6/28 calls that the payment for their service had not gone through and they would call and have me submit a partial payment of $299.00 on Monday after noon. Phone number I rejected answering was from Cell phone NC 1919903312920 at 12:46 pm on 6/30/2014
7/8 repeated calls each minute 5 times from #1036 I answered 1 of the calls and was told I needed to give them more money. I informed them that I have filed fraud reports and that I am on do not call registry and will contact authorities if they continue to call. Then 2 more calls ignored after that.

I have been trying to report a telephone scam in progress and cannot find anyone at my local police, telephone company, attorney general, the IRS, or the FTC who might intervene in real time to block the number being used to trick people into giving out their personal information or worse. Outrageous!

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. The details in your complaint could be helpful to investigators who access the FTC's complaint database. Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam and why it matters.

How do we find Lawyers in our area that will take these types of cases and not look at it as a total lose to those of us who are victims..

Contact the Bar Association or Legal Aid Society in your county or state and ask if they can help you find a reputable local attorneys with experience in immigration law. Lots of these organizations have referral services to help people find qualified legal representation for all kinds of problems: immigration problems, foreclosure, eviction, divorce, child support.

Simply DON'T let 'the bad guys' into the prisons to prey on these detainees unless they can produce correct names and info. What's so difficult about this?!!!!! I hope no one has 'rights' in this scamming situation.

FTC should have passed this info out 10 years ago not only to the illegal immigrants, but to the people in the US who were supposed to be enforcing the laws....

I think i have experienced a form of ID Theft, my computer has been hacked, and I am not getting things that I have applied for. Can you help? or responses from jobs that my husband and I have applied for. We hare not a immigrates, we are native us citizens.

If they need immigration service then they are here illegally and should be deported FOLLOW & enforce the current laws in Place and maybe these companies will also be placed out of business

Occurs not only in the country of you in Spain scams citizenship by large companies, politicians, and is constant. So far we conformábamos but not anymore, now we turn to lawyers that help us to do justice

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