Scam Prevention

Notario Fraud

What is Notario Fraud?

“Notario” is a term used to identify individuals who practice immigration law without a license, distinguishing them from attorneys and representatives accredited by the Department of Justice to practice immigration law. In many parts of Latin America, a “notario” is an attorney and can practice law. However, in the United States, a “notary public” is not an attorney and is only authorized to corroborate an individual’s identity on legal documents

Fraudsters often advertise to the immigrant community as “notarios” – using their license as a notary public to trick Spanish-speakers into thinking they have a license to practice law. The word “notario” is generally used to indicate someone who is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.


As you explore potential immigration options for you or your family, finding trusted support from a reputable immigration attorney or other legal service provider can be difficult. Just as payday lenders often prey on under-resourced communities, or predatory scammers pose as immigration officials to demand gift cards in exchange for benefits, certain businesses can mislead the public by offering immigration legal services despite being unqualified and illegal to do so. Please call the immigrant resource hotline at 1-833-468-4664 (HOU-IMMI) to connect with legitimate resources that can assist you, your family or friend in need of immigration assistance.

A “notario” is not an attorney and does not have the legal knowledge or license to represent someone in their immigration case. A notario may charge significant amounts of money even though they do not know immigration law and may cause harm to an immigrant’s case.


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