I received an email from a friend over the weekend that is of great concern. She and her husband received an email from what appeared to be the U.S. Department of State. The email states that she was selected as a winner of the Diversity Visa Program.

“Dear [name omitted],
You are one of the 50,000 winners selected by the computer random draw from the 12.1 million entries registered in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program . The Diversity Immigrant Visa program is a United States congressionally-mandated lottery program for receiving a United States Permanent Resident Card. It is also known as the Green Card Lottery.”

The email continued on to request $819.00 in fees for each family member to be paid using a Western Union money transfer to a supposed U.S. embassy agent. The payment was to be made within a matter of days or they would lose their green cards. The problem was the email was sent from a .com email address, not an official .gov address. A quick Google search revealed the following SCAM ALERT! Although the email looked very official, it did not follow current protocol for visa lottery winners.

Green Card Lottery Winners are Not Notified by Email

Entrants are to check the status of their entries by visiting http://www.dvlottery.state.gov between May 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. The U.S. Department of State’s Kentucky Consular Center does not e-mail notifications to DV entrants informing them of their winning entries. It is a common scam for imposters to frequently contact entrants in order to “extract money or personal information through websites, emails, and letters."

For more information about the Diversity Visas click here.

To contact a US Green Card Lottery attorney, click here.