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Visa lottery scams

Visa lottery scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into parting with your money by posing as Government officials in charge of selecting winners in a visa lottery.

They send out mass mails claiming that the recipient have won a United States Permanent Resident Card through Diversity Visa Lottery but is required to pay processing fees via Western Union, Wire Transfer, Virtual currencies etc. before the visa can be issued.

 

How this scam works



You receive a call, text message or an email informing that you have won a United States Permanent Resident Card or lotteries conducted by other countries and that you need to pay some form of fees such processing fees, documentation fees.

The scammer elaborately lists out the benefits that comes with accepting and paying the requested fees which includes, Health insurance, a free apartment for up to three months, education, guaranteed job even within the first week of arrival etc.

They introduce some sense of urgency by stating the quantity of applicants all over the world, and threatening to give someone else your offer if you don’t pay the requested fees quickly.

If you decide to accept their offer, you are asked to send your full information and or make payment to them via Western Union, Wire Transfer, Virtual currencies etc. to a private account mostly is countries where they can easily access the funds.

 

Warning signs

 

You are contacted via email by someone claiming to be an official of the U.S. State Department or Canadian Immigration using a personal email account.

Government websites are usually registered with the closed “.gov” domain, but they clone Government websites and register with “.com” or other open domains.

You are promised that your chance of being picked will be increased.

You are asked to make payments for fees to private accounts sometimes in other countries

You are requested to pay for fees via Western union, or some other means of payment which is difficult to trace or recover.

 

How to protect yourself

 

You can only apply for the Diversity Visa Lottery otherwise known as “Green card” via dvlottery.state.gov

Be aware that It is free to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery.

The drawing is random. There is no way to increase your chance of winning.

You do not pay until you find out your entry was picked, and you go to the U.S. embassy or consulate in person for your appointment.

You can find out your status only at dvlottery.state.gov. The State Department will never send you a letter or email to say you won. If you see that kind of message, it is a scam.

 

Have you been scammed?

If you suspect you’ve been contacted by a scam artist, please report your experience us. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.

We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help.

Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.

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