Scams are not new in this age of communication. Internet scams are a dime a dozen and especially in areas like online lotteries it is very easy for scamsters to make money. As long as there are gullible people in the world there will be scams.
With specific reference to the USA Green Card Lottery program, the scams till now were run by people on the internet sending unsuspecting people emails saying that they has won the lottery. The email would then tell them to deposit money in some account in order to process the visa application. There have been many organizations masquerading as the government and everything they say and do, including the design of their websites looks like the government making it very easy for unsuspecting people to believe them.
The latest scam now is being run through telephones. Persons responsible for running these fraudulent set ups cold call people and tell them they have won the green card lottery. They then go on to request money to get the visa. The most irksome aspect of this is the calls are made to random people irrespective of whether they have participated in the green card lottery or not. This scam was brought to light by http://www.tellows.com/ a website working to expose telephone scams around the world.
How to Recognize a Scam Call
The most important and most simple thing to remember is that the US Department of State DOES NOT make calls to winners. They also do not send any emails or mails with winning notifications.
The US government’s lottery program is called the Diversity Visa Lottery. Participation in the lottery is free and happens during October and November each year. Participants need to submit an electronic application on the government’s website. As soon as the application is accepted, the applicant will get a confirmation number. Participants can check their case status on the government website using this number. This is the ONLY way they can know whether or not they have won the lottery.
Keep this in mind and don’t fall prey to the fraudsters out there! Good Luck to all the Green Card Lottery participants.