E-mail Scam: Avoid Green Card Lottery Fraud

Have you or someone you know recently received an e-mail claiming you’ve won the Green Card lottery and asking you to send or wire money?

Don’t fall for it – the sender is trying to steal your money!

Fraudsters will frequently e-mail potential victims posing as State Department or other government officials with requests to wire or transfer money online as part of a “processing fee.” You should NEVER transfer money to anyone who e-mails you claiming that you have won the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery or been selected for a Green Card.

These e-mails are designed to steal money from unsuspecting victims. The senders often use phony e-mail addresses and logos designed to make them look more like official government correspondence. One easy way to tell they are a fraud is that the e-mail address does not end with a “.gov”.

One particularly common fraud email comes from an address ending in @diplomats.com or @usa.com and asks potential victims to wire $819 per applicant/family member via Western Union to an individual (the name varies) at the following address in the United Kingdom: 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 1AE. If you receive this email, do NOT respond. Report it immediately to the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission onlineor by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

For more information on this type of fraud and how to avoid and report it, please see the Department of State’s fraud warning and the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer alert on the matter.

For more information about the Diversity Visa Program, seehttp://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ and review the Department of State’s Travel.State.Gov DV Instructions webpage.

Source: The Beacon, The Official Blog of the USCIS at http://blog.uscis.gov/2011/03/e-mail-scam-avoid-green-card-lottery.html

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