We recently blogged about DV Lottery scams making their way around the web. Apparently, there has been a subsequent wave of new deceptive practices attempting to con innocent people out of their money.
Below are 5 more tips for avoiding DV Lottery & Green Card Scams.
1. CHECK ELIGIBILITY
Natives of many countries are not eligible for this visa program: "For DV-2012, natives of the following countries were NOT eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years: BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and VIETNAM. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible..."
So...if you are from any of the countries mentioned above, you know right away that any form of correspondance claiming that you are a lucky green card winner is false!
Also, before wasting your time applying for DV-2013, make sure to check out the eligibility and other requirements to qualify. For detailed information and instructions, please visit the official U.S. Department of State website: Information and instructions for are available on the Travel.State.Gov website.
2. THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT IS THE ONLY OFFICIAL WAY TO APPLY
The only official way to apply for the DV lottery is directly through the official U.S. Department of State Website during the specified and limited-time registration period. Applicants selected in the Diversity Visa random drawing are notified by the Department of State, Kentucky Consular Center by letter, NOT email and are provided instructions on how to proceed to the next step in the process.
While many other non-governmental websites (e.g., using the suffixes ".com," ".org" or ".net") provide legitimate and useful immigration and visa related information and services, we strongly recommend going directly to the U.S. Department of State. Forms and information are available FREE of charge. We will post the link for Diversity Visa DV-2013 Instructions as soon as it is available.
The English language version is the only official version. However, some unofficial translations in Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, French, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Uzbek were published for DV-2012 and are available.
3. CHECK STATUS
You may check the status of your DV-2012 Lottery entry on or after May 1, 2011 at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Click here for detailed information about Entry Status Check, lottery winner notification, and more. The same will be true for future DV Lotteries.
4. IF IT'S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, THEN IT IS!
Offers promising FREE airline tickets from your country to the USA to claim your Green Card fall into this category.
5. WATCH OUT FOR SPAM
Some of the more common fraudulent emails are: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. By the time you read this post, there will be dozens more. Just use common sense!
If you follow these tips, chances are you will avoid becoming an innocent victim of these scams proliferating their way through the Internet.