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Be wary of immigration law scams

Without a doubt, these are uncertain times for New Orleans residents who are not U.S. citizens. In their desperation, they may turn to anyone who makes promises of being able to legally remain in the country. However, if it sounds too good to be true, it just may be an immigration law scam.

For instance, take the case of a man from a state on the east coast. Prosecutors say that he pretended to be an immigration law attorney. He made promises to three women that he could solve their immigration problems, and allegedly stole thousands of dollars from them. One woman decided to come forward when she received no help with her situation despite making the requested payments.

The woman contacted authorities in New York (where she was living) with her complaints. This sparked an investigation that prosecutors say revealed the existence of the two other women who may also be victims. The man now faces numerous felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the scam such as immigration assistance service fraud, participating in a scheme to defraud and grand larceny.

Regardless of what happens in this man's criminal case, three women failed to receive much needed immigration law help. Their situations may be uncertain enough without having to deal with someone taking advantage of them. Sadly, these types of scams are not limited to the east coast. Even here in New Orleans, there could be unscrupulous individuals who make promises to people with immigration issues. Everyone has the right to verify whether the person they believe is an attorney actually is one before paying even $1 for services.

Source: Newsday, "DA: Man posed as attorney, stole over $30,000 from immigrants," Bridget Murphy, Dec. 14, 2017

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