The U.S. Embassy warns about recurring fraudulent schemes involving the Diversity Visa Lottery in which applicants are randomly selected for immigration to the United States. Scammers send spam emails pretending to be from the U.S. government congratulating the recipient that they have been selected in the Visa Lottery. A typical scam message is below.
These schemes often use a spoof U.S. government website. They may have domain names similar to government agencies, official-looking emblems (eagles, flags, or other American images like the Statue of Liberty or the U.S. Capitol), the official seals or logos of — and links to — other government sites, and list Washington, D.C., mailing addresses.
U.S. Embassy spokesperson, Jeffery A. Salaiz gave some tips on recognizing and avoiding these scams. - Those selected in the Visa Lottery are notified by regular mail, not by email. - Applicants never have to pay any fee until they come in person to the Embassy for their interview. Any communication that asks for money or bank account information to be sent in advance is a scam.
- Do not click on to any websites in these scam messages. The act of opening these links can make you vulnerable to viruses or other malicious codes. Information about the Diversity Visa Lottery can be found at http://www.travel.state.gov .
- Any questions about a Diversity Visa Lottery notification can be referred to the embassy at DRSIV@state.gov.
Winners of the diversity visa lottery have to be interviewed. To establish their eligibility, they must provide proof of a high school education or its equivalent, or show two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience within the past five years. Those selected need also process their immigrant visa applications before departure.
The U.S. Embassy continues to invite those wishing to enter DV lottery, and ask them to submit online at www.dvlottery.state.gov. (This site is only accessible during the application period. Application period normally lasts for two months only (October - November). Paper entries or mail-in requests are not accepted.
The text below is from a typical scam message. It is entirely fraudulent.
From: US DEPARTMENT OF STATE [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 5:04 PM Subject: AMERICAN DV2007 VISA LOTTERY PROGRAM.SUCCESS NOTIFICATION LETTER.
DV LOTTERY.STATE.GOV, U.S Department of State, Kentucky Consular Center, 1001 Visa Crest Migrate, KY 41901-1000 www.dvlottery.state.gov
Dear Winner, It is my pleasure to congratulate you on your success in the AMERICAN DV2007 VISA LOTTERY PROGRAM which was applied and processed by our agency. You were selected as one of the lucky winners on our internet screening machine,for the DV2007 USA national visa lottery program. Your visa lottery winner's identity is ID-7200DV and your serial net visa passport with us is SNVPh700IU.In this respect, you are directed to forward the following requirements:
l. Your present contact address (for correspondence) 2. Your recent passport photograph . 3. REGULAR MAIL. You can also send your photo(s) by regular mail. The photo must be between 2 by 2 inches (37-50 mm) square, with the applicant's,spouse's, or child's name printed on the back.Please mail the photos to:
Immigration Services: PA/PL,Rm.3206, U.S.Department of State Kentucky Consular Center 1001 Visa Crest Migrate, KY 41901-1000.
Or preferably, you can scan them and send via email for faster processing.Clearance/acceptance fees is($989.67) Details of requirements:
Your present contact address should be forwarded strictly to our receiving correspondent Mr. James Peterson through his email address email@example.com We accept Western Union Money Transfer as the ONLY payment method due to some reasons from our past experiences. (Credit card is not acceptable, please.)For information on how to send across the fees, please contact the Clearance Officer Mr.Brad Greenwalt through his email (firstname.lastname@example.org ). Your payment confirmation shall be sent to you as soon as clarification is done on your payment.
Providing the above requirements will assure you of getting your Visa Lottery Acknowledgement Card and Visa Lottery Security Code which we shall send to your email address.
Important notice: Please make sure you report and forward your Visa Lottery Code and Acknowledgement Card to the USA embassy in your individual country for your Green Card and other necessary claims.
According to the United States of America's Code of Conduct and Constitution Vol.176/866:Act 690SN guiding all immigration, and Green Card permit Agencies, Non-Response,14 days after you receive this message to your winner's status shall reveal "No interest" and we would in return, refer your lottery code and acknowledgement card back to the USA Government/Immigration Service Center. We shall be anticipating your reply soon.
Note: Your response/reply should be sent ONLY to the above stated Email network. This is for security reasons. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------