We have just seen our first DV scam of the year!  

How do we know it is scam?  Here’s how:

It was for DV-2015:  They are a year late. Successful registrants were notified through the Entrant Status Check at www.dvlottery.state.gov  in May 2014.

Notification of the selection was by email: The Department of State will never send you a letter or email to say you have won.  Applicants are required check their status online through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website at www.dvlottery.state.gov

They used a “.com” domain suffix:  Only internet sites with a “.gov” domain suffix are official U.S. government websites.

They were asking for money – $785.00 per person – by bank transfer before April 25:  Successful applicants will never be asked to pay money by bank transfer.  The visa application and processing fee of $330 per applicant is paid on the day of the interview to the Embassy or Consulate cashier.  There are no other fees and no other methods of payment.

They were advised that they could take as many family members as they wished:  Not true!  Your spouse and children under the age of 21 are eligible to apply for a visa but only if you listed them on your entry.  If you fail to include an eligible dependent on your original entry and later list them on your visa application forms, your application will be disqualified.

The Diversity Visa Program is often the target of elaborate scams.  Be one step ahead of the scammers with the following tips:

  • The registration period for DV-2016 closed on November 3, 2014.  If you did not submit an entry during the registration period, you cannot register now.
  • If you submitted an entry for DV-2016, the only way in which you can find out the status of your application is on line at dvlottery.state.gov from May 5, 2015.
  • Never send money by Western Union, bank transfer or cash or check.   The visa processing and issuance fees are paid to the Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for the visa on the day of the interview and not before.
  • And remember if you never applied for the DV lottery, you cannot be a winner.

If you know of a scam or believe that you may have been a victim of one, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission:

You can give as much information as you want. Investigators are happy for any information you give.