Are you looking for a “green card”? Don’t let scammers get one for you!

Recently the FTC announced that the winners of the 2014 Diversity Visa Lottery can be seen online at the official website: dvlottery.state.gov.

Each year for a month during the fall, many students and workers from other countries apply to the Diversity Visa Lottery in order to have a chance at receiving a “green card” or the status of being a lawful permanent resident in the United States.

Unfortunately, there are scammers who trick hopefuls with schemes claiming they can give them an edge to winning a green card, that they need to send money to reserve their spot, or that they can even get them one on the side. Anyone who makes any of these types of claims is a scam.

The only way to apply and see if you have won a “green card”, the FTC notes, is by directly applying and checking your status at dvlottery.state.gov. There is no other way to apply for the green card, and selection is done randomly—a computer randomly selects which applications win.

FTC reiterates these facts about the Diversity Visa Lottery:

1)   Applying for the lottery and seeing if you have won is free, and can only be done by visiting dvlottery.state.gov.

2)   The winners are chosen randomly; no one can increase your chances of winning.

3)   The U.S. government will never send you a letter, email or phone call to say you have been chosen.

4)   The U.S. government will never ask you to pay for a fee upfront. Once you are chosen there is a fee that needs to be paid to either the US Embassy or a Consulate Cashier. But this is paid only after you have confirmed that you won on dvlottery.state.gov and when you go in for your scheduled appointment.

Failure to follow instructions, in applying and verifying information on dvlottery.state.gov, and falling for the lures of a fraudster can get you in trouble that might even cost you the chance of ever getting a green card in the future. If you receive any communication that seems suspicious, please report the information to the FTC at 1-877-382-4357.

More information can be found at http://www.onguardonline.gov/blog/green-card-lottery-scams.

Learn about scams at BBB Scam Stopper: www.bbb.org/scam-stopper/.

Sign up for weekly BBB Scam Alerts: https://cbbb.wufoo.com/forms/email-sign-up/.

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About Kasandra Helms

I am the Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator for the BBB Serving Southeast TN & Northwest GA based in Chattanooga, TN. My responsibilities include writing/designing, giving presentations in the community, learning and sharing information, and managing our BBB Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BBBTNGA.