Alert: Visa Lottery Fraud

Scammers posing as representatives of the U.S. government are sending fraudulent emails and letters to applicants for the Diversity Visa program, known as the "visa lottery". These emails and letters tell people that they are winners of a diversity visa, but are a scam intended to steal money from people who want to become U.S. residents. The letters tell the supposed winner that they must pay a sum of money in order to receive the visa. Don't fall for it.

Remember that no applicant for the 2012 Diversity Visas will receive a notification letter from the U.S. government, but must check the status of their application from May 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 on the website, established by the Department of State.

This is an example of a fraudulent letter that a person I know received:

Beware! Just because the letters have what looks like an official government seal does not mean they are real. A simple way to identify if one of these emailed letters is fake is by the email address - an official U.S. government email has the ending .gov.

These fraudulent letters request that they send the money for the supposed processing fees for the winning visas to a particular account. The government never would do that.

Every applicant for a diversity visa should carefully read the rules and procedures for the program such as what to expect, when and from whom. You can learn more about how to avoid this type of fraud and scams by clicking here. here.