Attorney General Warns Consumers About NotariosPosted: Updated:
PASCO, Wash.-- A new scam is targeting the Latino community across the state, mostly because of cultural differences.
"In Mexico a notario is a highly educated person who has legal training in our country, a notary or a notario would not have any legal training," said Doug Walsh, from the State Attorney General's Office.
By law a notario is only allowed to assist with document translations and notary services. Sal Contreras is the owner of MBM Express in Pasco, and has been in the business for more than a decade.
"Instead of them going to the consulate in Seattle, for any type of power of attorney they can come to us," said Contreras.
But it's not just about the services. Walsh says false advertising is also against the law.
"It's illegal to advertise as a notario to provide immigration assistance," said Walsh.
With that in mind, we found a place in Pasco advertising these services. But while the signs read notary services, inside the owners of this place told us they don't offer legal services.
They even advertise it inside their office, and make every costumer sign a document saying they're not an attorney.
Still Walsh says to avoid any problems, ask those who know best.
"There is access to justice through legal clinics, through quality attorneys who provide immigration law, advice or representation and government assistance," said Walsh.