Yes, you heard it right, a fake ESA letter can result in severe penalties like heavy fines and imprisonments. And yes such fake letters do exist and are used in a very large number, hence, beware of the ESA service provider you are relying upon and do not get scammed and regret later on.
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An ESA is increasing in demand especially among college students. This is because of the stressed-out life that has resulted from extremely fast development and continuous changes that are happening around us in the technology-driven 21st century.
This increase in demand has resulted in an enormous increase in the number of scammers and fake service providers. To save yourself from the hazards of using fake ESA letters for housing and travelling, read the article till the very end. This article will feature the basic definitions of ESA and related terms, what could be the outcomes of using a fake letter for ESA, and how to identify one to remain protected from the forthcoming embarrassment.
An ESA is a pet that provides emotional support, alleviates issues related to mental health, and provides companionship to the owner. It can be an ESA dog, a cat, a fish, or any other pet animal. The main purpose of using an ESA is to get rid of mental illnesses and to get comfort, love, care, and support in times of need.
The owner of the pet is the person who has some sort of medical issue related to mental health. The person is often recommended to get support from the ESA after six or more months of continuous assessment of mental health.
ESA letters are the legal documentation that is written, and then signed and attested by a licensed healthcare professional. The professional may be a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, counselor, etc. These letters provide the person a special permit to use the pet that he or she owns for emotional support or as an ESA.
These letters are special grants or legal documents that give special permissions to owners of ESA for things that other owners of ordinary pets are not allowed to do. For instance, he or she may take the ESA along on the flight while other pets are not allowed on the same flight. Similarly, a landlord is obligated to allow the accommodation to ESA without additional pet charges, and even if he or she has a no-pet policy operational in his or her housing society.
Due to the special benefits of ESA letters, many people try to exploit them and get fake letters. Also, because of too much demand, many online services have been introduced lately that issue ESA letters without even meeting the person. The letters provided by such services are fake and may land you in danger, hence, beware of these fake letters.
The law, morality as well as ethics strongly prohibit the use of fake letters for ESAs. This is because not only are they illegal but also kill the chance of deserving ones to carry their ESAs with them and make everyone suspects in the eyes of the law as well as to the other members of the society.
The legislation for service dogs has been in practice for more than a decade now, this is because they have been relied upon by many disabled individuals for the longest period of time now. However, ESAs have become popular just a few years ago due to a sudden increase in mental health issues. However, in 2017 a bill was passed in the senate that has defined the likely outcomes of using a fake emotional support animal letter.
Before you proceed on to making the wrong choice of the letter and service provider or you want to get a fake letter to escape the hazard of following the complete process with protocols, prepare yourself for life in jail. A simple case of the fake emotional support animal letter can result in six months of imprisonment, and heavy fines reaching as much as 500 dollars and 30 days for dedicated, monitored and continuous community service.
Now if you are worried about the likely outcomes of the fake letter, read further to know how to identify a fake letter or a scam service and get a legit letter.
Firstly, any company or online service that promises to give the letter without meeting you in person or within a couple of days is surely a scam. This is because the issuance of the letter requires a proper assessment of the patient. This assessment needs to be continued for at least a period long enough to declare a person in need of emotional support due to mental health issues. Generally, the minimum time period set by doctors and legal advisors is six months.
Secondly, a service offering a too good to be true price for an ESA recommendation letter is surely a fraud too. The reason is that the recommendation letter has to be issued by a licensed healthcare professional who will obviously not assess you completely at very low charges. A licensed medical professional usually costs a hefty amount for even a single consultation, let alone a complete evaluation of mental health status.
Another red flag is that these services often offer to register your pet as an ESA or train your pet to become an ESA. They also demand money for this additional service. However, an ESA neither has to be registered nor trained to give emotional support.
Lastly, prefer looking for an authentic healthcare professional, get yourself checked thoroughly if you think you need an ESA. And directly ask the doctor or healthcare personnel to guide and help you in the process of getting an ESA and the letter.