(Woodland, CA) – May 31, 2018 Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig is warning individuals who are seeking help in their path to citizenship to be aware of potential scams targeting undocumented residents and their money.
These kinds of scams have been negatively impacting people across California as a result of immigration issues that have recently taken center stage nationally. Scammers have been targeting undocumented citizens in an attempt to charge for government forms, which are free. They are charging to assist in completing an application for benefits which the victim is ineligible for, and are even claiming to have friends who work for immigration that can speed up the immigration process. Victims end up paying for what they think is a fast-path to citizenship but end up paying for a service they never receive.
Victims of immigration fraud can end up losing large sums of money, or even worse, hurting their chances of obtaining legal status.
Don Chairez, who specializes in the area of immigration law and represents many undocumented citizens, stated “too many immigrants are being victimized by so called immigration consultants. Alerting undocumented residents to be mindful and vigilant is critical. Otherwise, they get ripped off and often end up in deportation proceedings with their rights to stay in the country seriously damaged.” The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office urges you to utilize these helpful tips if you are seeking assistance in your path to citizenship.
• If an attorney claims to be licensed in California, confirm his or her status by calling the State Bar of California’s immigration hotline at 866-879-4532 or by going to: calbar.ca.gov.
• In California, it is illegal for a person to self-identify as a “notario,” if they are not a licensed attorney
• Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website at https://www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams/find-legal-services to find free or low-cost legal assistance
• If you have fallen victim to one of these scams, you may email fraud tips to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office: https://yoloda.org/fraud-reporting/
• Call the Yolo County District Attorney fraud hotline: 1-855-496-5632
• Call the UC Davis legal immigration clinic at: 530-752-6942
• Call the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento at: 916-329 3500