The Haitian National Police (HNP) arrested four Haitian citizens last month following a joint investigation with the U.S. Embassy into a scam that defrauded more than a dozen Haitian families seeking to immigrate to the United States. The four subjects remain in Haitian custody.
In the fraud, scammers posing as U.S. Embassy employees contacted immigrant visa applicants in Haiti and their family members in the United States. During the conversations, the scammers falsely claimed that the applicants owed thousands of dollars in fees for DNA tests, medical exams and other processing. The scammers instructed applicants’ families to pay the fees – typically totaling thousands of dollars – by Western Union or other methods of online transfer. Once families transferred the money, the scammers immediately broke off contact with the family members.
The arrest culminates several months of work by the HNP based on information reported by the U.S. Embassy. It is a success of the HNP working on behalf of Haitian citizens and the U.S. Embassy congratulates them on this accomplishment.
The U.S. Embassy is very proud of its role in maintaining a lawful, orderly immigration process for Haitian citizens to join family in the United States and take up legal residence there, increasing the already strong ties between the two countries. It is dismaying that scammers and racketeers use the interest in immigration to steal from hard-working Haitian citizens and their families and possibly jeopardize those citizens’ future eligibility to immigrate legally. The United States takes fraud very seriously and will continue to work with the HNP to pursue and prosecute those who attempt to undermine the integrity of the immigration system.
The U.S. Embassy reminds visa applicants and their families to never pay visa fees by Western Union or other online transfer services, and to never respond to messages claiming to be from the Embassy sent by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or other online chat programs. Interested parties can always find complete instructions about the visa application process at the Embassy’s online website at http://ustraveldocs.com/ht. Applicants with questions can call +509-2812-2929 from Haiti, +1-703-544-7842 from the United States, or email support-Haiti@ustraveldocs.com for updates.
The U.S. Embassy works constantly to stop visa fraud. To report information about visa scams or fraud, please email the Consular Section’s Fraud Prevention Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.