Universal Tax and Travl (sic) Services Corp. of 208 Washington Ave., Passaic; SGI Professional Services Corp., 570 Clifton Ave., Clifton; and two Paterson businesses, Detex Corp., d/b/a "Navarro Tax Services" of 93 Market St. and Martinez Travel Group, 96 Market St., all were operating as “notarios publicos,” which the division claims used “cultural confusion” to exploit Spanish-speaking consumers, according to the website.
In Latin American countries, notarios publicos sometimes are allowed to act as attorneys, preparing legal documents and giving legal advice, but in the United States public notaries can’t legally perform these services, NJadvancemedia.com said.
Each of the four businesses listed have been notified of a $10,000 civil penalty.
Consumer Affairs said some notarios publicos falsely claim they can assist with immigration matters including green cards or work visas, or that they are immigration consultants.
Only attorneys or individuals accredited by the federal government can represent clients for immigration purposes, according to NJadvancemedia.com.
To report immigration scams, call the state Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846 (toll free in New Jersey) or at 973-504-6200. To file a complaint of consumer fraud, scams or abuse, click here.
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