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The Department of State, Office of Visa Services, advises the public of a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to Diversity Visa (DV) program (Visa Lottery) applicants. These websites are designed to appear official, and often have images of the U. If payment is made to a non-governmental source, this payment is not received by the U. government and does not apply toward visa processing. Additionally, these imposter websites and emails cannot provide the services they advertise and for which they require payment. Finally, be wary of providing any personal information through these fraudulent websites and emails, since such action that could result in identity fraud or theft. The only official information about the DV program is found on U. DV program entrants must check their status of their DV lottery entry online at find out if they were selected or not. For more information about the Diversity Visas and the process, review the Department of State, Diversity Visa Program webpage.The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as the U. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. government websites containing official visa and immigration information, including free information and forms, are: Many other non-governmental websites (e.g., addresses ending with ".com," ".org" or ".net") provide legitimate and useful immigration and visa-related information and services. Some websites and emails try to mislead customers and members of the public into thinking they are official U. Sometimes these costs are for information or forms that are otherwise available for free on official U. Visa applicants are strongly advised to be cautious in all dealings with non-governmental companies that claim to offer any assistance in obtaining U. No other organization or private company is authorized to notify DV applicants of their winning entries, or the next steps in the process.All applicants should be familiar with information about DV scams provided by the Federal Trade Commission. government email addresses also end in “.gov,” and any visa-related correspondence coming from an address that does not end with “.gov” should be considered suspect. Regardless of the content of other websites, the Department of State does not endorse, recommend, or sponsor any information or material shown on these other websites. Visa applicants are advised to be cautious in all dealings with companies that claim to offer any assistance in obtaining U. Imposters frequently contact DV applicants to extract money or personal information through websites, emails, and letters.

There are no get-rich-quick schemes, so always think twice before handing over your details or dollars.

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions.

They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.

While DV applicants may receive an email from the U. 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. If you wish to file a complaint about internet fraud, please see visit econsumer.gov, which is a joint effort of consumer protection agencies from 17 nations, hosted by the Federal Trade Commission.

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 government will never ask you to send payment in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer. Learn more about Visa Scam Websites Targeting Iranians. You can also visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) website.

Finally, remember that fees for the DV application process are paid to the U. Embassy or consulate cashier at the time of your scheduled appointment. Visa Scam Websites Target Iranians We have received reports of websites not affiliated with the U. government encouraging persons in Iran to apply for U. Visa Related Fraud Information - Refer to these frequently asked questions. To file a complaint about unsolicited email, contact the Department of Justice.

Internet sites ending in the ".gov" top-level domain suffix are official government websites.

Some of these fraudulent organizations may require payment for immigration and visa services. These services can only be obtained from official U. government entities, such as the Department of State, a U. embassy or consulate, or the Department of Homeland Security. The only official way to apply for the DV program is directly through the official U. Department of State website during the specified and limited registration period. Department of State Kentucky Consular Center does not mail or email notifications to DV entrants informing them of their winning entries.

Remember that anything that does not end with “.gov” should be considered suspect. These non-governmental, unofficial organizations are not able to provide these services.

What these websites and emails are missing is the “.gov” suffix on their addresses.

Scammers invent convincing and seemingly legitimate reasons to give you false hope about offers of money.

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