Businesses that promise enhanced services
Sometimes immigration scammers will build a business based on making false promises to expedite and upgrade services immigrants would normally receive from a government office such as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or another authorized party. These businesses may claim to offer access to work visas, green cards, resident visas, and other documents members of immigrant communities commonly need. West Palm Beach residents who are confronted by a company or individual who claims to be able to expedite processing time for immigration-related documents should contact an immigration attorney to ask whether the group or individual is actually able to provide the service as promised.
Visa lottery scams
Every year, the U.S. State Department offers 50,000 “diversity visas” to randomly-selected applicants who meet all eligibility requirements. The State Department has reported a recent increase in diversity visa lottery applicants receiving emails and letters that claim to guarantee program selection to applicants who pay a fee to the people who send the fraudulent correspondence. Fraudsters send these unsolicited emails and letters to people hoping to make money off of those who are unaware that diversity visas cannot be “guaranteed” and that the only way to apply for the “lottery” is by submitting an application directly through the State Department. The visa lottery fraudsters may attempt to add further confusion by using unofficial terms like “green card lottery,” “visa lottery,” and “DV lottery.”
Fraudulent Notary publics/”Notarios publicos” scams
In Latin America, professionals who are authorized to practice law, settle legal disputes, and verify legal documents are often referred to as notarios publicos. In the U.S., the term “notary public” refers to a person who is authorized to authenticate signatures on documents. It is very easy for people who are unfamiliar with the duties of a notary public to confuse the two. Scammers have capitalized on the of the similarities between the two positions and fraudulently claim they are able to perform the duties of a notario publico despite only being certified as a notary public in the U.S. Fraudulent notaries public who participate in immigration schemes defraud people of hundreds to thousands of dollars in fees, and the people who rely on them to perform services for which they lack the authorization to provide often discover they have missed deadlines or that their paperwork was never filed correctly if at all. Therefore, in addition to taking unsuspecting people’s money, notary public fraudsters may also make matters worse in terms of the victim’s ultimate goal of having the necessary paperwork properly prepared and processed.
When suspected immigration fraud comes under scrutiny
Immigration fraud is typically investigated by the federal government after local law enforcement and federal agencies receive complaints from people who have been defrauded by a scam. When the government investigates immigration fraud, virtually everyone who has an apparent connection to a suspected fraudulent business or individual may be contacted for a voluntary investigative interview. This means that virtually anyone, from the company owner, to the receptionist, may receive a call from the federal government. People who work as employees for businesses that are implicated in immigration scams may be completely unaware that their employer has been defrauding members of the community. Others may continue to work for the company, but remain silent due to the fear of going to jail or being deported. In any case, people who find themselves involved in an immigration fraud case in West Palm Beach should immediately contact a Florida immigration fraud defense lawyer to receive a free, confidential case evaluation. Details discussed during the phone call will remain private. A West Palm Beach immigration fraud lawyer can accompany the accused party and be present during all conversations with law enforcement to ensure rights of the accused remain protected and to help the client understand the legal process and make decisions that are in his or her favor. Facing the federal government on an immigration-related charge alone can be intimidating. Having a compassionate attorney present at each step can offer the accused person the professional advice he or she needs and comfort in knowing he or she has the support of a dedicated legal advocate.