Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Each year, the United States State Department conducts a lottery through its DV program to distribute applications for 50,000 immigrant visas. Winners of the lottery have a chance to apply for an immigrant visa, which can be used to enter the U. S. Winners are selected randomly, and there is no fee to enter the lottery. It is easy to enter online, and generally, there is no reason to pay a company to make the submission for you!
Some people, especially non-native English speakers and people who simply are not careful in following directions may find an application service useful. In doing so, it is important to chose carefully, as there are many scam organizations.
One example of a green card lottery organization that offers to help in the submission process is www.USAFIS.org CFR has received complaints from an unhappy customers. The United States State Department says this in regard to USAFIS (see this page for the source):
Has USAFIS (www.usafis.org) been authorized by the government to register individuals for the US Green Card lottery program for a fee?
The Diversity Visa Lottery program, established by Congress, is administered by the Department of State. Foreign applicants may register for the program directly, on-line, without any intermediary. The Department of State has not enlisted or authorized any third parties to assist in this process. More information is available at http://travel.state.gov.
The public should be aware that there have been several attempts to defraud Diversity Visa Lottery entrants. Lottery entrants selected as winners in the Diversity Visa random drawing are notified only by the Department of State's Kentucky Consular Center. No other organization or company is authorized by the Department of State to contact winning entrants.
The United States government, also says this (see this page for the source). We have highlighted a few passages to draw you attention to them:
If you or someone you know is trying to get a green card - the right to live in the United States permanently - be on the lookout for unscrupulous businesses and attorneys. They'll claim that, for a fee, they can make it easier to enter the U. S. State Department's annual Diversity Visa (DV) lottery (also known as the "green card lottery") or increase your chances of winning the DV lottery.
Each year, the State Department conducts a lottery through its DV program to distribute applications for 50,000 immigrant visas. Winners of the lottery have a chance to apply for an immigrant visa, which can be used to enter the U. S. Winners are selected randomly, and there is no fee to enter the lottery.
Entries to the DV lottery must be submitted online at www.dvlottery.state.gov. (This site is only accessible during the application period.) Paper entries or mail-in requests will not be accepted. Lottery entrants must include a passport-style digital photograph and separate digital photographs of any spouse and children under 21 years of age. Group photographs are not allowed. Check with the State Department for technical requirements of the digital photograph.
Entries are accepted for a limited time. For the DV-2009 Lottery (to be conducted in 2007), the application period is from October 3, 2007, through December 2, 2007. DV-2009 visas will be issued between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009. Check with the State Department for entry dates for future DV lotteries.
We have revised this page to make it clear that CFR is not saying that USAFIS has broken any laws or conducting a scam, merely that this is an very easy process that most people can do themselves without help. We are also NOT recommending them. Repeat, we do NOT recommend USAFIS.
Among other things, USAFIS makes sure customers' applications will qualify for the Green Card Lottery program. We'll readily acknowledge that that there are some people who have difficulty following even simple instructions and those people may find a service like USAFIS useful. Again, we do NOT recommend USAFIS!
We feel that the process is so very simple and easy, we think you'd be foolish to pay someone to do it. The application form only asks for the following information:
applicant's children's names, and for each: dates of birth, gender, city/town of birth, country of birth and a photograph
And the US Government will even help you understand the application form, for no charge. Just- call your local US Embassy or Consulate, or visit the local US Embassy or Consulate.
You can see the application form here: http://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ (look for the link to the DV application)
As always, we welcome feedback from both customers and the businesses themselves! If you have any experience, positive or negative, with USAFIS, please write us!
From: David Nekrutman [mailto: email@example.com ]
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2007 6:42 AM
Subject: Re: Misleading information concerning USAFIS Organization
To Whom It May Concern,
It has come to our attention that USAFIS Organization has been mentioned in your site (http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/greencardscam_USAFIS.php) as a green card lottery website involved in fraudulent issues. As herein detailed, the aforesaid publications are misleading and erroneous.
As the operators of USAFIS web site, we wish to furnish you with some significant details concerning USAFIS:
1. USAFIS ensures its clients that their application to the U.S. Diversity Visa Green Card program (DV) meets all the requirements outlined by the U.S. State Department before it is submitted.
2. USAFIS services include data inspection, correct completion of the application form, scanning of applicant's photos and submission of the application in a timely manner.
3. USAFIS also indicates the option of using the U.S. Department of State's website which is free of charge (http://www.usafis.org).
4. USAFIS does not charge its clients for registering to the DV, but only for its application inspection service.
5. Furthermore, USAFIS posts on its website that it does not charge its client for the application submission (http://www.usafis.org/faq/land_english.asp), in addition to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's warning about fraudulent green card lottery scams (http://www.usafis.org/consumer_alert.asp) which is published as well in USAFIS web site.
6. USAFIS prides itself for helping hundreds of thousands of people with their application to qualify for the Green Card Lottery program.
7. Our guarantee is that our customers' application will qualify for the Green Card Lottery program and nothing else.
In consideration of the above, it is clear that classifying USAFIS web site as a fraudulent green card lottery services is improper and in addition, causes DSNR severe damages.
Therefore, you are kindly requested to amend your misleading publications, print a retraction and remove the incorrect items of the aforesaid article, from your website.
For details about the State Department's Diversity Visa lottery:
You also may call the State Department's Visa Services' Public Inquiries Branch at 202-663-1225. This number has recorded information with an option to speak with a visa specialist during normal business hours. Those overseas should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.
call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261.
The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.