US embassy warns of 2015 Diversity Visa Lottery fraud

Baku: The U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan wishes to advise the public of a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to Diversity Visa (DV), or Visa Lottery, program applicants, the embassy told APA on May 20.

The originators of these fraudulent emails and letters pose as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. Applicants are encouraged to review the rules and procedures for the DV program to help identify potentially fraudulent communication.

While DV applicants may receive an email from the U.S. government reminding them to check their status online through DV Entrant Status Check, they will not receive a notification letter or email informing them that they are a successful DV entrant. Applicants can only find out if they were selected to continue with DV processing by checking their status online through the DV Entrant Status Check at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.

Finally, please remember that entry in the DV lottery is free; the only time DV lottery entrants need to pay a fee is if they are selected in the lottery and instructed that they may apply for a Diversity Visa. Those fees are paid to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate cashier at the time of a scheduled appointment. The U.S. government will never ask applicants to send payment in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer. Any other requests for fees, whether an application fee, a fee to receive a diversity visa number, or a fee for services “promising” a visa, are scams. If applicants are unsure whether a communication regarding the DV program is legitimate, please contact the U.S. Embassy Consular Section at Consularbaku@state.gov.

The U.S. Embassy in Baku will work with local law enforcement to stop scammers from extracting illegal payments from DV applicants. If you believe that you are a victim of a scam or have been the target of a scam attempt, please tell us about it on our Facebook page, or by email at Consularbaku@state.gov.

SOURCE: AZERI PRESS NEWS AGENCY