Photo by judemat.
Attorney General Maura Healey raises awareness about scams
Fraudulent immigration law practices frequently target vulnerable members of the immigrant community. Attorney general Maura Healey announced that her office will “ramp up” efforts to keep residents informed and protected. In 2018, the A.G.’s Community Engagement Division launched a multilingual educational campaign. This initiative was meant to teach immigrants about predatory practices and equip them with the tools they need to defend themselves. Since then, her office has “relaunched its education materials and outreach after hearing from community partners about unscrupulous lawyers taking advantage of their clients and a widespread scam known as “notario fraud,” or the unauthorized practice of immigration law. ”
“Unfortunately, we continue to see scams targeting immigrant communities and preying on those in need of legal assistance – taking their money and leaving them with little to no help,” said A.G. Healey. “My office serves as a resource to protect our residents from being cheated and will continue to take action to shut down these illegal practices.”
Oftentimes, scammers offer victims false promises, usually through brochures and advertisements. They may say that they will help individuals get green cards, visas, or legalization, all in exchange for money. To combat this issue, A.G. Healey’s office will connect with immigrant communities using “multilingual public service announcements or PSAs, social media posts, a targeted website on how to avoid immigration scams, which is available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, and posters (available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Khmer, and Haitian Creole) with helpful tips.” They will also hold webinars, in person trainings, and work with community partners.
To report an immigration scam, call the AG’s Civil Rights Division at (617) 963-2917. To learn more, please visit www.mass.gov/immigrationscams
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.