The Immigration Scams Aimed At The Spanish People
Immigration Scams "Notarios Públicos"
Spanish people in the United States are targeted by scams due to their unfamiliarity with the language and the law. If the immigrant is in the country illegally, they will not contact the police if they were cheated. Knowledge is the best way to prevent fraud. The term notario publico is used to address experienced lawyers in Mexico. Scam artists in Texas have deliberately mistranslated this term to make the person on the phone believe they are talking to a lawyer.
Government agencies have been established to help people fight fraud including Spanish immigrants. In 2004, The Hispanic Law Enforcement and Outreach Initiative was introduced to stop fraud perpetrated against Hispanics including a campaign for consumer fraud awareness.
The Recent Scams Against Spanish People
Multiple states have recently reported scams attempting to sell a course in the English language to Spanish speakers. As soon as the company has an immigrant on the phone who speaks Spanish, a payment of hundreds of dollars is demanded. The person is told if they do not pay, immigration will be contacted and they will be deported
. Do not give them any money, this is a scam. Mortgages Para Hispanos is a broker offering excellent loan terms to Spanish speakers verbally. The closing documents are in English with less favorable and completely different terms. This broker was caught, paid a large fine and is prohibited from any misrepresentation of the conditions, costs and terms of a mortgage loan. Unfortunately there are others conducting the same scam. Do not sign anything if you do not understand the language.
The Unexpected Calls
Hispanic consumers have reported unexpected calls stating they won a nice vacation
. The call begins with a Spanish recording instructing the person to press one on their phone if they have a credit card beginning with the number four. The person is then connected to someone speaking Spanish who tells them they have won a travel package including hotel and airfare to a destination such as Las Vegas or Disney World. This is a scam and the prompt pertaining to a credit card beginning with the number four ensures the called knows the person has a credit card. Every single Visa card starts with a four. The person is then told the processing fee to secure their vacation is $399 and they are asked for their credit card number. If the person does not accept, they are told they are neglecting their children's welfare. Do not give any financial information or credit card number to telemarketers using pressure tactics.
The Texas Attorney General
The Texas Attorney General prosecutes and conducts investigations regarding immigration and consumer fraud. A large West Texas operation was shut down for perpetuating scams on hundreds of immigrants. These people lost thousands of dollars for representation in immigration matters that provided unauthorized legal advice.
The judgement was issued by a state district judge against the owners of Aplicación de Oro. The best way for any individual to protect themselves from scams is to conduct research and not give any money or personal information on the phone to unknown callers.