Fraud Prevention Unit: Ten Cuida’o con ese Maco

“Ten Cuida’o con ese Maco” is the anti-fraud campaign of the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo. The goal of the campaign is to discourage visa applicants from using or purchasing fake documents or identities in the pursuit of a visa. This campaign helps applicants avoid being the victims of visa scams and learn the consequences of visa fraud.

Who is the Maco?

A “maco” is a person who takes advantage of people applying for a U.S. Visa. Also called “buscón,” a maco will tell applicants that they don’t qualify for a visa unless they use the maco’s services.

Macos will offer applicants falsified letters of employment, bank statements, and civil documents. Some others even pretend they are employees of the U.S. Embassy or that they have a special connection in the Consular Section, and will ask for large sums of money to verify an applicant’s documents or to obtain better, falsified documents.

All of these activities are illegal, and the consequences are severe. Producers, vendors, and applicants who carry falsified documents to the Consular Section can be permanently barred from traveling to the United States, and some can even face criminal prosecution and jail.

Remember, the applicant is responsible for all statements and documents presented during the visa application process.

What should I do if I find a Maco?

Report fraud and visa scams to fraude@state.gov or call us (809) 368-7134 / (809) 368-7105.

What is the right way to apply for a visa?

Dos:

  • Do learn about the visa process at do.usembassy.gov.
  • Submit inquiries regarding visas to support-dominicanrepublic@ustraveldocs.com; or call (829) 956-5144, M-F from 7:00am – 8:00pm.
  • Do complete your visa application (DS-160 or DS-260) form at ceac.state.gov.
  • Do visit www.ustraveldocs.com/do to make your appointments at Visa Application Center and the Embassy.
  • Do attend your appointment at the Visa Application Center at the Galerias 360 mall before attending your appointment in the Consular Section.
  • Do answer questions completely and honestly on both the application and during the interview.
  • If applying for an immigrant visa, do bring evidence of your relationship with petitioner (such as photos, travel records, money transfer receipts, etc.). Also, bring the petitioner’s old passports and copies of all pages in his/her current one.
  • If applying for a Student or Exchange Visitor program visa, do ensure you have the approved I-20 (student visas) or DS-2019 (Exchange Visitor visa) form, proof of SEVIS payment, and proof of ability to pay for your educational expenses.
  • If applying for a work visa (D, H, L, O or P), do bring evidence of your qualifications for the job and visa class.

Dont’s:

  • Don’t fall prey to nefarious buscones who advise you to purchase a document package in order to qualify for a visa.
  • Don’t forget to complete your medical exam three weeks before your appointment for an immigrant visa.
  • Don’t buy any tickets or finalize any travel plans until you have received your visa.
  • Don’t be evasive when you answer questions; listen carefully and answer fully the question asked.
  • Don’t pay for application forms related to the visa process; all information and forms are available for free on U.S. government websites.
  • Don’t arrive more than 15 minutes prior to your appointment time at the Visa Application Center and the Consular Section. Applicants are seen based on their appointment time, not on their arrival time.
  • Don’t bring electronic devices, food, drink, dangerous items, or other prohibited items to the Consular Section.
  • Don’t bring friends or family to the Consular Section unless they are directly involved in the visa application process (e.g. the petitioner for an Immigrant visa or family also applying for a visa).
  • Don’t trust anyone who advises you to lie or to hide the truth. This can only hurt your chances of obtaining a visa and could permanently bar you from entering the United States.